The Design Informatics Pavilion is a pop-up exhibition space designed by biomorphis architects featuring a range of objects and experiences that invite you to step into the future. The exhibition will be interactive, mixing design with technology and exploring a number of themes aimed at provoking discussions on what it means to “design with data”. The Pavilion will feature work from the research institute, Design Informatics Masters students and Tesco Bank who have been collaborating with us on their Mercury project for the second year running.

This year’s Pavilion will stretch out into the new courtyard outside the Bayes Centre which is the University of Edinburgh’s Data-Driven Innovation Hub hosted by the College of Science and Engineering.

The Pavilion will be supplemented by our newly launched events and exhibition space- Inspace; a collaborative hub where data meets creativity. It’s a cultural space that connects and supports people around academic research, data and technology. Design Informatics will host a number of workshops in the space and also feature an after hours exhibition, Data Lates, of projection work across the windows of Inspace featuring work from Jake Elwes, Brightside Studios, Benjamin Bach, Asad Khan, Patricia WuWu, Dara Etefaghi, Pip Thornton and Ray Interactive.

For more details on each of the projects follow the links below.


Open daily 2- 26 August

Data Play- Bayes Centre Courtyard, 11am-6pm. Free entry

Data Lates- Inspace City Screen, Potterrow, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB, 9pm-4am. Free entry

Events- Inspace, 1 Crichton Street, EH8 9AB. Free entry but sign up is essential, see individual events for times


Exhibition Identity: Peak15

Architect: biomorphis

Design Informatics and the Pavilion is supported by Edinburgh College of Art and the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh and is part of the Fringe. Also thanks to EPSRC and Creative Informatics for their support.


Data Lates

Inspace City Screen, will host two out-of-hours exhibitions projected and viewable from on Potterrow.

Preternatural, curated by Drew Hemment, presents art on and of machine learning by Jake Elwes. Data Lates is a collection of works by major creative practitioners based in the city such as Brightside Studios and Ray Interactive as well as work created by students and academics working at Edinburgh University, including Asad Khan, Particia Wu Wu, Dara Etefaghi and Pip Thornton.



A new work commissioned by Experiential AI, Zizi,receives its world premiere during August alongside an adaptation for Edinburgh of Closed Loop. Each work, in different ways, explores how machine reasoning and vision exist outside of nature, and exceed what is natural or regular.

Jake Elwes is an artist who works with machine learning algorithms. He is one of a number of artists who are today exploring the aesthetics of machine learning. Works in this tradition often reveal and manifest distortions in the ways algorithms interpret the world.

Zizi is a procession of faces of drag artists in constant transition, morphing and changing shape. These faces are generated by a duel between two ‘adversarial’ networks competing with one another. Their gender, sexuality, whether they are real or artificial, is all uncertain. Here, the permanent becoming of a neural network represents the fluidity, ambiguity and transition of drag artists.

In Closed Loop, two AI models are again in dialogue. One describes in words the images generated by the other, which, in turn, generates another image to represent those words. Departures occur as the algorithms see new things in the nuance of the words and image. Closed Loop illustrates the difficulty AI systems have in handling ambiguity, and the way they fit phenomena into categories.

Preternatural is curated by Drew Hemment as a part of experiential AI at Edinburgh Futures Institute. It is presented at a newly launched site, Inspace City Screen, and is a part of Data Play by Design Informatics.



Brightside Studios: A Human Connection – Data capture from dancers is brought to life, inspired by Bright Side Studios’ collaborations with award-winning contemporary dance choreographer, the late Janis Claxton.

Asad Khan: UR Black – Using LiDAR and SAR from NASA and ESA, Khan’s work animates extra-terrestrial terrain and a dormant volcano through visualisation and simulation.

Tef Dara: Inersis explores the space between game worlds and composition, with players exploring a kaleidoscopic procedurally generated universe.

Patricia Wu Wu: The Dust [n]Forcer uses a swarm of data dust created from a performer wearing a 3d printed face mask and tinfoil fashion suit to question our relations to technology.

Pip Thornton and Ray Interactive: Newspeak (2019) visualises the words of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as if they were commodities on a stock exchange.

Ray Interactive: Interplay- A mini series of generative design experiments; real-time graphics which can be instantly altered and influenced by onlookers via



Zizi, Closed Loop and Data Lates are shown on alternate nights, 9pm-4am, 2–26 August 2019.

Mondays          Closed Loop, Jake Elwes

Tuesdays          Data Lates

Wednesdays    Zizi, Jake Elwes

Thursdays        Data Lates

Fridays             Closed Loop, Jake Elwes

Saturdays         Zizi, Jake Elwes

Sundays           Data Lates


Thanks to EFI, Data Lab and Creative Informatics for supporting this project.

Produced by Dave Murray-Rust, Jane Macdonald and Suzy Glass.

Technical production by Ray Interactive.

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Data Play Events

As part of our Design Informatics Pavilion we will be holding a series of supplementary events in Inspace led by the Research Centre.

All events are free but places are limited so please do sign up in advance. Events listings below including Eventbrite links.


7 August 1:30 – 4:00pm

Dynamic Wall Visualisations: Build your own tangible data visualisation using modular motor and light blocks (supported by Edinburgh Futures Institute). Sign up here.


8 August 5:30 – 8pm and 13 August at 9:30am – 12pm

Mapping Privacy Models

How should data be collected, used and shared at festivals? Designing new data consent models for connected environments (part of the EPSRC-funded PACTMAN research project in Design Informatics). Sign up here.


14 August 9.30-10.30am and 21 August 2-3pm DROP IN SESSIONS

Karma Kettles: Come and explore the push-pull energy economy and how your kettle could change your habits.

What does the Karma kettle do?
With the karma Kettle, the user can do more than boil water!
The karma kettle can perform its tasks in two ways: manual or bot mode. When in the manual mode, it provides users with information so they can decide whether they want to pull or push; if they want to trade or be altruistic and share it with a neighbour.
The consumer can make decisions about storing energy when there is plenty in the main grid, or they can be generous and push it back into the storage grid so the local community can make use of it. Demos taking place inside the Pavilion lasting 3-5 minutes, no need to sign up just pop along!


19 August 12.30 – 2pm

Temporal Design Workshop

In this workshop, participants will look beyond clock-time to collectively create an image of the different times we live in. Sign up here.


21 August 2.00 – 4.30pm

Tangible Data Controls

How would you prefer to control your data? Exploring tangible controls for privacy settings in connected environments (part of the EPSRC-funded PACTMAN research project in Design Informatics). Sign up here.


22 August 10am-12pm

PizzaBlock Workshop

Can you help solve Edinburgh’s lack of good pizza? Come and learn about the future of identity with blockchain technologies in this one-off PizzaBlock workshop!

Spaces for PizzaBlock are limited – find out more and apply to take part here:

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Design Informatics Pavilion 2019

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