Designing with biodiversity data: connections among design, materials, and technology

Guobin Xia, Luwen Yu, Zhe Gong, Yize Zhang, Shaohui Zhang, Zongcheng Zhu, Hongfu Li, Yue Tang, Yinghua Huang, Zhendong Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Data visualisation plays an integral role in the communication of complex data between expert and non-expert audiences. However, heretofore, large uncertainties remain concerning how people understand and interact with massive amounts of data. In this paper, we describe the design and evaluation of a series of interactive data physicalising installations, aim to evaluate the potential influence of technology upon traditional comprehension of material items, its connection to meaning and value, and how technology that allows for an extension of this thinking builds an emotional connection between audiences and the intangible object, ‘data’. The design of prototypes was driven by data of the three least appearing species in Scotland. Analysis of 60 audience members’ responses reveals the positive design potential of further exploring innovative design methods to engage people with data. Likewise, the results provide empirical evidence regarding hands-on experience with integrative data visualisation in a realistic scenario and suggest that inventive forms of visualisation could potentially trigger people’s emotional and memorial reactions, which may affect their decision making at an unconscious level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1703-1710
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology
Issue number5
Early online date24 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Data visualisation
  • Design with data
  • Human–Data Interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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