Event

The Praxis and Politics of Building Urban Dashboards

When
Wednesday 31 August 2016
1.00 - 2.00pm

This event has passed

Venue

Madsen Rm 449, Madsen Building, Eastern Ave, The University of Sydney

Map


Explore current innovations in geographical research and cutting edge trends in socio- spatial theory throughout this seminar series.

Geographers and the Environment with Alistair Sisson (Geosciences post-grad) 

Sophia Maalsen

This presentation critically reflects on the building of the Dublin Dashboard – a website that provides citizens, planners, policy makers and companies with an extensive set of data and interactive visualizations about Dublin City, including real-time information – from the perspective of critical data studies.  The analysis draws upon participant observation, ethnography, and an archive of correspondence, to unpack the building of the Dashboard and the emergent politics of data and design. There are four main observations.  First, a dashboard is a complex socio-technical assemblage of actors and actants that work materially and discursively within a set of social and economic constraints, existing technologies and systems, and power geometries to assemble, produce and maintain the website.  Second, the production and maintenance of a dashboard unfolds contextually, contingently and relationally through transduction.  Third, the praxis and politics of creating a dashboard has wider recursive effects: just as building the dashboard was shaped by the wider institutional landscape, producing the system inflected that landscape.  Fourth, the data, configuration, tools, and modes of presentation of a dashboard produce a particularised set of spatial knowledges about the city.  We conclude that rather than frame dashboard development in purely technical terms, it is important to openly recognize their contested and negotiated politics and praxis.