‘My Data, My Self’ Exhibition


Saturday 17th to Sunday 25th of October

Navigate through the co-design experience of three people living with their personal data. Discover your own ideals along the way.

Our exhibition will take you on a journey through the lives of three people (Eric, Anna and Hugo) who have co-designed new ways of living with their personal data.

We explore their data needs and expectations and how they were being met by corporations, to being confronted with speculative design prototypes showing the breadth of what can be done with data objects. Inspired by these provocations, Eric, Anna and Hugo designed their own prototype to solve their bespoke data problems.

Along the way, the exhibition will unpack the ethical challenges that Eric, Anna and Hugo face as large commercial and civic organisations control how their data is used.

At the end of the experience, you are invited to walk through three doors that represent how you would like your own personal data to be managed in the future: Eric’s cautious way, Anna’s open process, or Hugo’s entrepreneurial path.


Engage with the exhibition:

View and experience the ‘My Data, My Self’ Exhibition in the DDW 3D Viewing Room online Saturday, 17th to Sunday, 25th October 2020

Step into the exhibition with co-directors Caroline Parkinson and Chris Speed to experience the exhibition in more detail in Episode 5 of ‘My Data, My Self’ TV, airing Saturday, 24th October 2020.


Meet Anna, Eric and Hugo and learn about their journeys…

This is Anna’s story…


Anna has an underlying health condition that requires her to track her diet, physical activities and fatigue levels. She wants to share her data with trusted health organisations that will use her data to help others, but she wants to keep her identity private.

“I’m happy to share my data, but I don’t want it used against me.”

This is Eric’s story…


Eric was deeply worried about Cambridge Analytica and has become much more concerned about how organisations and companies use his personal data. He is looking for a future in which he can complete control over the flow of his own data.

“I want to manage the data I produce by collecting it and storing it myself.

This is Hugo’s story…


Hugo is body builder and is very concerned about keeping peak fitness. He is very happy to share highly personal data including nutrition, exercise and health statistics so that entrepreneurs can provide him with new apps and tools to manage his fitness.

“I don’t have the time to track my own data, I want new data driven products that can do it for me.”

The design team that co-create with Anna, Eric and Hugo…


The design team are represented in the exhibition as a group of three designers / scientists who worked with Eric, Anna and Hugo to help them co-design their ideal data futures.

“People come in different shapes and sizes and apps don’t! Designers need to learn how to co-create data products that manage people’s data in ways that they feel comfortable.”



See the co-created data-driven products up close…

Provocational prototypes (provotypes)

NHS Connect
Bionic devices that track your health for you but at a price. Sell your data or pay a subscription for the service.

These fictional bionic devices would track your health for you but at a price. You must choose to either sell your data or pay a subscription for the service.

The Implant

        • Detects diet data and calculates estimated price of your groceries to suggest how to eat more healthily for less 
        • Tracks how much you talk, laugh, sing, cry and smile to create a profile of your mental health 

The Wearable

        • Collects blood data for analysis, diagnoses and lets you know when you are capable of donating blood
        • Takes average blood pressure, heart rate and location data to calculate overall fitness, health and likelihood of disease

The Assistant

        • Is your interface and virtual assistant giving you real time feedback and suggestions based on intelligent interpretation of your data undertaken by our data scientists and machines.

Ask this omnipotent voice assistant to track data for you and when it is finished it prints a summary off for you.

The Curatalife is a fictional Alexa style voice assistant that is run through a very powerful AI. Instead of controlling your lighting and music this assistant acts as a virtual memory, you can ask it to take note and record anything you can think of, from how much your child will grow over the next year to a map of the birthplaces of everyone you meet in the next five years. Curatalife will then record these requests for however long you ask it to and once it is finished it will spit out a receipt with a summary and/or a visualisation of the results. You can keep this for your data scrapbook or you can discard it, curating your own data memory.


Expert’s prototypes

Manual data entry device that highlights data trends.

A data visualisation and comparison device used to draw links between diet, lifestyle and health. It is able to record preferred methods of comparing data as well as conclusions drawn from data and the evidence for these conclusions. You can then use it to share data when it is necessary to help with research projects or personal health issues. 

A food scanner that tracks calories, nutrients etc. for you.

A data collection device that 3D scans and weighs food to determine calories, vitamins and food groups to give you data that you can track and draw conclusions from. These conclusions are used to implement changes to diet, telling you if you should or shouldn’t eat something and how it would impact you if you did.

Data pebbles, one tracks your data, the other stores it securely to be used where you feel appropriate.

The first Pebble acts as a data parasite that you can add to devices like fitbits to duplicate and acquire data, acting as a data collection device for the other Pebble.

The second pebble stores that data securely for you to choose what to share and what to keep safe. Acting as a personal data store so that you can keep a record of your own data on a hard drive, away from corporations that would like to sell or use it.


Researchers’ prototypes

DataBlox & Capturator
Each DataBlox stores the data for one specific dataset, the datasets can be compared and correlations drawn by stacking the blox. And the Capturator is a device that collects emotional data of the users.

DataBlox cubes can be assigned to store and keep safe one particular data set, for example your daily step count. You can then stack the blocks to compare and contrast relationships between the different data you are tracking, helping you to find trends and analyses to improve your life.

The Capturator is an intuitive button that you can press to track data about anything, it will track different things depending on how you press it. It can take in analogue and qualitative data on what it is tracking as well as digital. Pressing the button prompts it to record what data it records varies depending on how it is interacted with as well as the location and context.

Go to the ‘My Data, My Self’ TV station to learn more

Find out more about the ‘My Data, My Self’ Exhibition on the Dutch Design Week website.