Controversing Datafication through Media Architectures

Corelia Baibarac Duignan, Julieta Matos Castaño, Anouk Geenen, Michiel de Lange

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter, we discuss a speculative and participatory “media architecture” installation that engages people with the potential impacts of data
through speculative future images of the datafied city. The installation was
originally conceived as a physical combination of digital media technologies and architectural form—a “media architecture”—that was to be
situated in a particular urban setting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,
however, it was produced and tested for an online workshop. It is centered
on “design frictions” (Forlano and Mathew, 2014) and processes of controversing (Baibarac-Duignan and de Lange, 2021). Instead of smoothing
out tensions through “neutral” data visualizations, controversing centers
on opening avenues for meaningful participation around frictions and
controversies that arise from the datafication of urban life. The installation
represents an instance of how processes of controversing may unfold
through digital interfaces. Here, we explore its performative potential
to “interface” abstract dimensions of datafication, “translate” them into
collective issues of concern, and spark imagination around (un)desirable
datafied urban futures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSituating Data
Subtitle of host publicationInquiries in Algorithmic Culture
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789048555444
ISBN (Print)9789463722971
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2023


  • datafication
  • controversing
  • public engagement
  • urban futures
  • smart city
  • media architecture


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