We are very excited to begin the Pulse Edinburgh project, generously supported by the Challenge Investment Fund. The project formally begins September 2016, and will run for a year until summer 2017.
We hope to develop a number of experimental data feeds that will help us to think about what it might mean to ‘sense’ the complex and distributed activity of a ‘smart university’. In an era where ‘big data’ are purportedly ushering in new ways of understanding complex phenomena, the potential scale and variance of available information requires new approaches to ‘sense making’. Individual data feeds can provide specific and focused insights, however, what happens when we combine multiple feeds? How do we ‘sense’ complex, more-than-human systems (like the contemporary university) that go beyond our ability to perceive them directly? For this reason, the project is more interested in the ‘awareness’ of data, more than its ‘utility’, or indeed, direct ‘comprehension’.
In phase 1 we will develop some simple initial data feeds with which to begin the design process. In phase 2, we will run a workshop series to involve students in the design process, and look to distribute prototype devices to participants.