March 18th, 2020
The paper proposes a reflection on how to analyze, assess and design Participatory Data Physicalization (PDP) by taking into consideration a PDP project designed by one of the authors of the paper and commissioned by Prevention For You, a startup specialized in prevention education. For Data Physicalization we intend the translation of data into tangible and, in any case, perceptible-with-senses-other-than-vision artifacts. Data Physicalization allows for an engagement of the recipient of information which differ from that of Data Visualization. By exploiting and exploring these different forms of engagement, which often entail the involvement of the entire body, Data Physicalization can give way to artifacts that dispose and afford participation. PDP can be then a way to promote participation and to democratize data beyond a broader diffusion and deeper understanding of information. The paper discusses all these issues by taking into account the PDP project “KnowAndBe.live – more knowledge, less fear” about cancer awareness.