My interest for doing research on physical data comes from the curiosity to give data meaning in the physical world, as I believe designs that have a foundation in data can create personal and unique experiences for the user.
We increasingly have access to new kinds of data. Wearables, mobile devices and Internet-of-Things sensors are enabling us to monitor our environment, understand our social connections, and track our personal health. Whereas data is more and more presented as a consumer product, most of these systems communicate data through classic information visualizations that are designed for domain experts. Moreover, personal data are most of the time ‘hidden’ in devices such as mobile phones and tablets, and users need to undertake explicit actions to reveal them .
People are trying to achieve something in their life, such as losing weight or creating habits, which all could be achieved by visualizing their data. What if this data could be physically present, but at the same time unobtrusive, in people’s everyday environments?
As a design researcher I want to explore how this might happen through the use of physicalizations, which are physical artifacts whose geometry or material properties encode data . Physicalizations have been around for many centuries  demonstrating various benefits over conventional visualizations; they make data tangible and allow for exploration and interaction. Physicalizations can be anywhere and are always “on” which allows individuals to interact with their data in different ways . A good example of this is my Final Master Project in which I examined how a shared physicalization of dietary choice and climate impact could create awareness and behavior change within a community.