Having a specific role on a walk puts people on an equal footing, making knowledge together

Creating conversations with different kinds of knowledge

Bernard Keenan

LSE Teaching and Learning Central London Walk October 2016
“I think that in a sense what might differentiate ‘data’ from phenomenological observation is that data is structured by its selection criteria. …I thought the 4 qualitatively different examples of data environments that you set the groups to find was very interesting in this regard – I felt that this was a subtle but effective form of structuring the data collection, which was necessary in order for the groups to come back and ‘compute’ the different examples of these 4 different qualities in a meaningful way.”


London Walk
“I like the idea of being forced to engage with data – what it is, how we interact, the bargain between ease, information, surveillance and privacy”

Looking for and thinking about data in cities produces contexts for ‘big data’ that are local and situated

Demystifying ‘big data’


Furtherfield walk
“The most digitally mediated spaces I can think of were probably at the bike facility (touch cards, online payments etc) and at the click and collect (online order collection point). Beyond this, I think there may have been a correlation between visibly, even ostentatious, digital mediation in more wealthy, gentrified spaces, whereas other spaces it was more subtle and under the surface. But this seems so expected, and as I'm writing this a while after the experience, there may be some confirmation bias.”


Montreal Data Walk, World Social Forum
‘I’ve opened my eyes about data’s categories, but I don’t think we can call it ‘big data’ “

With a focused, bodily engagement in space, walkers can ask questions about all kinds of knowledge

Enacting ethical reflections


Montreal Data Walk, World Social Forum
“It’s interesting to consider how digital divides materialize in physical space and the particular avenues that data are channeled into. Also it’s ironic to think about our online data ‘overloads’ versus the intensity of data produced in one city block’”

By performing a short ‘flashmob ethnography’ and reflection, walkers see the value of ethnography as a method of observation and knowledge construction

Learning about observational methods

Dr Colleen McKenna

LSE Teaching and Learning, Central London Walk July 2016
“The topic was, of course, fascinating. But, equally, I liked the very nature of the workshop itself and the use of walking, exploring and gathering stories. I’ve been thinking ever since about how I might incorporate this into my own teaching.”


Montreal Walk, World Social Forum
“I liked thinking semantically about data, qualifying data…. And walking around the city”