Design Expo 2013

About

Each year, Microsoft Research sponsors a semester-long class at leading design schools. Students are asked to form interdisciplinary teams of two to four students to design a user experience prototype that solves a real-world problem. From these groups, a representative team from each school presents its work to Microsoft.

2013 Design Challenge

Making Data Useful: Improving Your Life, Community, and World

We live in a world that is increasingly alive with sensors and data. The big data, sensor networks and transparency movements have left us with a glut of potentially useful free data that is lying fallow. How can we use this to improve life, local community, and the world at large?

People and devices collect and share data both passively—monitoring environmental change—and actively—explicitly capturing and sharing information, combining data with other information, and using in unexpected ways. Today, we are only starting to understand how best to put this data to work to improve our lives and the world around us.

How might data—particularly information that makes civic society run, like bus schedules, election cycles, political information, first-hand reporting, volunteer logistics, and sporting and media events—make for a better and more community-oriented place to live?

How might this data help us understand the past and present and predict the future with more precision, and how might an individual’s personal data be used to help filter and make information more relevant in different contexts or situations?

What are key problems this data can be used to help solve, what new troubles can we anticipate it creates?

Participating schools and projects

  1. New York University, Interactive Telecommunications Program, New York, NY, United States
    Professor: Clay Shirky
    Project: Mine – See yourself the way data miners see you
  2. Carnegie Mellon University, School of Design, Pittsburg, PA, United States
    Professors: Peter Scupelli, Bruce Hanington
    Project: SeedLinks – Empowering people who care to contribute to their local communities
  3. Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, Israel
    Professors: Oren Zuckerman and Noa Morag
    Project: Clashers – A new way to search for music
  4. National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, India
    Professors: Bibhudutta Baral and Rupeshkumar Vyas
    Project: Policiti – Creating a citizen-centric and transferable policing system in India
  5. Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    Professor: Trevor Duncan
    Project: Living Memory – Digital data in physical objects
  6. Technische Universiteit (TU) Eindhoven, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Professor: Berry Eggen
    Project: AMP – Sharing social data
  7. Universidad Iberoamericana, Design Department, Mexico City, Mexico
    Professor: Jorge Meza Aguilar
    Project: Greenery – Grow your own food in a fun way
  8. University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Design Media Arts, Los Angeles, CA, United States
    Professor: Christian Moeller
    Project: Real-time advanced sound analysis for the LA philharmonic
  9. University of Washington, Interactive Design Division, Seattle, WA, United States
    Professor: Axel Roesler
    Project: Community Slate – Improving public participation in open planning

Related Links

Research in Focus: Designing a Better Tomorrow. Interview with Lili Cheng and Clay Shirky (NYU ITP).