The Poetry of Data

Reflection on “The Poetry of Data” seminar with Nathalie Miebach, part of Living Systems Collaboratory.


The seminar felt like a rhythm that fuels life. A sequence of transformations. I loved seeing data becoming a visualization, then becoming music and sculptures. Every step is transforming the shape of the idea, but the idea stays the same! It’s like the idea is changing outfits. Love that.

What are some additional ways that data can be integrated/demonstrated in regards to a living system?


I’m curious to explore — what is data. I think, it depends on how one defines what is data. I see “data” as information and as information sources beyond my mind. But actually, even thoughts from my mind (when recorded) become data. So, everything is data when observed.


How can data be integrated? Simply put, when my thoughts are written down, they synthesise into an idea. A new living system is born right there.


Things get even more interesting when “data of thoughts” is integrated with someone’s else’s “data of thoughts”. Simply through conversations and feedback loops. Here again, new ideas come to life! New living systems are born.

Projects Melting

Going further, data integrates, when an idea expands between projects (and mediums). Say with my book, I noticed links with a game project that friends is interested to start. Then, both of our projects would melt into something bigger than our individual projects.

Overall, creation and co-creation is where I see “data integration” happening.

What are some ways you can implement data in your project?


I’m starting to link existing thinkers’ work with the spells my book character needs to learn. As the book’s purpose is to entertain but also to sink in deeper and shape people’s ways of thinking, so this is an important bit — to give nuggets of living systems philosophy and science that readers can explore afterwards.


Also, I’m curious to mention real projects throughout my book. Imagine a piece of comic (a scene) that is about a project that actually exists in the world. This way, a book links with websites. I’d show these in the appendix at the end of the book. Hmm!



X RAZMA: Constructions toys very appreciated for building sense of imagination. also the ancient ones of sticks, stones

Ruta Danyte: Would be cool to see Legos expanding on a Living Systems look! #tetrahedron

Claudia Brenner: Information systems are like lego / modular pieces.

Together Alone

Ruta Danyte: Love hearing privacy mentioned in collaboration! I call it “my cocoon”

Stephen Bau: “There must be a time to retreat into my studio and think by myself” – reminds me of Susan Cain’s exploration of the power of introverts

Ruta Danyte: “collaboration is about hearing smth new” – !

Data Plays

Ruta Danyte: How might we play with data?

X RAZMA: Data scrapbooking // data collage

Lisa Naugle: The ability to translate from one medium to another and another is so critical for building knowledge, awareness, understanding

C A: Inclusive data viz through multiple translations

Natalya Sheveleva: Love this, data is the ingredient and then you play with different ways of cooking it up


Stephen Bau: An aural representation of a memetic virus? “Memes are to culture what genes are to biology: the base unit of evolution.”

Lisa Naugle: Yes, … sometimes it just takes one person to give a thumbs up!!

Discomfort Maps

Stephen Bau: When we think about human experience design, we tend to avoid the feeling of discomfort by amplifying the satisfaction of felt needs.

Stephen Bau: How does discomfort become an effective means of challenging blind spots and encouraging social evolution by centering discomfort?

Ruta Danyte: Showcasing discomfort opens up some space for transformation

Stephen Bau: We often use empathy maps in UX design. How might we design discomfort maps to rethink human experience design?


Mansoor Vakili: How could we convert quantitative data to qualitative patterns ?

Ruta Danyte: Quant to qual, chaos to insight – hmm

Ruta Danyte: “being courageous by simply trying to figure smth out” – love this!

Natalya Sheveleva: You can endure the complicated after your hands are in it, naive simplicity is paramount to help you start. Great reflection for me

Natalya Sheveleva: Reminding me that trauma lives in sense processed data

Mark Wagnon: Aesthetics (including the beautiful representation of ‘raw data’) can move through the ‘mental machinery’ of the ‘conditioned mind’, as well as, the ’emotional trauma’ of our ‘heart intelligence’.

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