During August and September 2013, we ran a community project on Mill Road (Cambridge, United Kingdom). With the help of various businesses and local artists, we collected "community data" and visualised the results as street art.
Eighteen participating shops on Mill Road had a little "smiley device" installed on their counter, on which a different question around the Mill Road community were displayed every other day. Customers were encouraged to express their opinion.
After processing the gathered data, we visualised the results on the pavement in front of the shops, with the help of local artists. We made us of chalk graffiti, which fades after rain. The visualisation became a bit bigger every other day.
Along Mill Road, 18 businesses participated: Oxfam, Computer Resale, CB1, Sally Ann, Bosphorus, Raj, Bacchanalia, H. Gee, Cho Mee, Mini Market, Black Cat, Interflora, Kailash, Urban Larder, RSPCA, Limoncello, Hillary's Greengrocers and Cafe Coco Belle.
We evaluated the effect of the public visualisation of community data. What does it do to the Mill Road community? How can it inform people on what other members of the community think of specific local issues? Does it encourage reflection and discussion?
Visualising Mill Road is a project by Lisa Koeman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr Vaiva Kalnikaite (email@example.com) and Prof Yvonne Rogers from ICRI Cities at University College London.
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Mill Road Bridges Newsletter: Mill Road data project intrigues BBC News, November 2013 [PDF]
Cambridge Edition: Visualising Mill Road, October 2013 [PDF]
Cambridge News: 'High-tech study asks whether divide between two halves of Mill Road in Cambridge real or imagined', 31 August 2013 [link / PDF]
BBC News: 'Cambridge Mill Road chalk graffiti charts scientists' community data', 30 August 2013 [link]
Radio interview on BBC Radio Cambridge's 'The Paul Stainton Bigger Breakfast Show', 30 August 2013 [online shortly]
Radio interview on Cambridge 105's '105 Drive with Julian Clover', 28 August 2013 [link]