Games Engineering Programs

Choosing NASAs first Astronauts: A Data Physicalization inspired by 100% City

HCI Project
Created by
Tamara Friedenberger


Data physicalizations are physical artifacts whose geometry or material properties encode data (Jansen et. al., 2015, p.2).  An intriguing example of a data physicalization is the show concept 100% City by Rimini Protokoll. 100 representative residents of the city in which the performance is currently situated answer various questions on stage about their demographics, beliefs, values, and past experiences. To answer, participants for example group themselves under “me” or “not me” or raise colored signs for multiple-choice questions.

In my analysis of 100% City and initial design sessions, I identified four guiding themes that shape my own design of a data physicalization. These themes encompass various characteristics of 100% City that I strive to retain, such as “Personal and Messy” or “Following Individuals”. I present a physical artifact and accompanying app from my HCI project, depicting possible candidates for NASA’s first astronauts in the 1960s.

Jansen, Y., Dragicevic, P., Isenberg, P., Alexander, J., Karnik, A., Kildal, J., . . . Hornbæk, K. (2015, 4). Opportunities and challenges for data physicalization. ACM. doi: 10.1145/2702123.2702180

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