Big Bang Data.

Robin HamiltonCreative Director

Big Bang Data is an exhibition at Somerset House, focusing on data and design. Myself and my data geek of a mate spent an hour and a half seeing all the ways our ever growing data environment can be visualised, interpreted and manipulated.

If you’re a smart phone owner and/or live in a city, which makes up the vast majority of us, you are spewing huge amounts of data, almost all the time.

What is this data? Who is using it? What are they using it for? It struck me during the exhibition, how much more data I am producing than I thought, and how little I know about what is happening with this data.

Rather than read over the paragraphs of a privacy policy, we often skip to the bottom of the screen, give our consent and continue to get our fix of the latest “must see” picture and video content.

Perhaps our data is being grouped and used to solve the world’s problems (smarter cities and more sharing), or perhaps it is being used to pigeonhole us into a tribe for advertisers to target or governments to control. The likelihood is that it is all of these things and more.

My prediction is that in the future we will have much more control over the currency that is our data. For now there seems to be this window where, as the internet and devices that use it are developing, there is a rush to grab whatever data is available.


At the moment, our phones are kicking out most of the data but with the internet of things becoming ever more prominent, there will data spewing out from all of our appliances. One example of this was a fork that measures the number of mouthfuls we are taking and how quickly in order to slow our eating down. These types of devices will help efficiency and improve product development but is likely to further increase our big brother environment.

What will I do differently, having visited this exhibition:

  1. I will pay more attention to the privacy policy of each of my apps and products.
  2. I will support causes that are using data for good.
  3. I will escape the grid now and then.

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