Datafied Research

Newspaper design for Aarhus University, Hong Kong City University and transmediale Berlin.


This newspaper is the outcome of a Ph.D. seminar organised by the Centre for Participatory IT at Aarhus University, School of Creative Media at Hong Kong City University and transmediale festival for art and digital culture in Berlin. It is the fourth of its kind in an ongoing collaboration between Aarhus University and transmediale, and seeks to address the thematic framework of the festival as a research topic.

"This year’s festival theme CAPTURE ALL 'sets out to investigate and propose actions that push against the limits of today’s pervasive quantification of life, work and play,' as stated in the transmediale call. To what extend does data capture all – even research?" (editorial)
While staying at Hong Kong University, I developed together with the writers different ways of presenting their articles respective to the CAPTURE ALL theme:

The design concept plays with the idea of "describing by not describing" it, the use of tactical knowledge which might be unknown to algorithms and data seekers. A poetic sense, an exaggeration, the misuse of certain expressions – many ways to overcome the quantification and its limitation of understanding. Authors choosed a picture for example which describes the article by generating questionsmarks, confusion over connotations. Also each article featured a fire-chat-conversation which directly shows the usefullness of obvious nonsense – links back.

The newspaper is read as a wallpaper. Layed out, it shows on one side all essays/ articles, floating from top to buttom –> 3 pages high columns! On the other side of the wallpaper a photograph is shown of the CAPTURE ALL political party banner, which was placed in the suburbs of Hong Kong. The slogan says: "TRACK VOID, TRACK BREATH, TRACK STEPS". This performative gesture of resistance reflects back to the Hong Kong demonstrations which happend at the same time.

Used Tags

Describing by not describing

A tiny, but important element of the design is a fire chat conversation of/infront each article. It describes a thought of the research by not describing it directly. A tactic which is used quite a lot by protesters, known as "tactical knowledge".


Now you can chat "off-the-grid". Internet not needed.


FireChat is a proprietary mobile app, which uses wireless mesh networking to enable smartphones to connect via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework without an internet connection by connecting peer-to-peer.
Though it was not designed with the purpose in mind, FireChat was used as a communication tool in some civil protests.
-- wikipedia


The street scence of Hong Kong is full of advertisings of politicians. Our face is this guy: sporty, flexible, young. His line: TRACK VOID, TRACK BREATH, TRACK STEPS.

Hong Kong Street Banners:


Hong Kong Demonstrations: