Our March Data Expedition 1002^2 x MuDA focuses on life and data in the neighbourhood. Examining the exact area of 1001 by 1001 metres (1002001 m²) surrounding the Museum of Digital Arts (MuDA), wehere we question and bring to life the data of what it means to live and work in this district. Through data literacy workshops, talks and events at MuDA, we hope to empower participation by the public in our community embracing the power of information.


We kicked off together on Monday with

  • paper brainstorming tools
  • a set of Apple/RasPi workstations set up by MuDA
  • printed data maps of the neighbourhood designed by Katrin
  • paper and online learning materials from the School of Data
  • urban sensing hardware from Make Zurich
  • 3 chatbots to keep us company: Chatlio, Sodabot and Herr Schlaumeier

The workshop itself started with a long discussion, all our participants had a chance to introduce themselves, share interests and ideas. We heard each other's perspective on what kind of skills we bring to the table as makers and creatives, and where we are less sure of ourselves.

Then we tried to understand each other's definitions of 'data', and what kind of information or objects or patterns we rely on in everyday life. We dived into a bunch of open data sets, pulled together some DIY sensors, talked and wrote about subjects that would possibly inspire us in a data artwork.

There was little facilitation required due to a lot of introspection and strongly self-guided exploration. Since our first Data Expeditions catered to people with more experience in data wrangling or visualisation, during the workshop we also started looking into supporting more basic tools at future events.

We used Dribdat and Slack to keep track of project suggestions along 4 themes: Awareness, Openness, Making, Sharing. You can see these at bd.schoolofdata.ch or all one one page (PDF; 1.9MB)

An inspiring place for inspiring datanauts! muda.co/stream/1002001… twitter.com/OpendataCH/sta…

We plan to debrief with MuDA in the days ahead, see what they thought of our approach and platforms, find out what they learned from the experience of the museum as playground for data wranglers, and find out how we could play a role in their data literacy program in the future.

The project ideas should continue to be developed, and I believe we should help them collect interesting logs and other fertile soil for data art exhibitions, as well as to work with artists directly. There are some wider questions that I would like to take back and discuss, such as:

  • documenting, reproducing and refining this type of ("open data literacy") workshop
  • gaining external support so that we can do a better job next time and have the means of showing up and being involved regularly
  • what possibilities the museum space offers for kindling ideas and supporting data culture - ideally in partnership with openglam.ch
  • discuss how to measure social impact and orientate our work here in light of the constellation of subjects addressed in this collaboration so far - from migration politics and open georeferenced data, to urban development and machine learning, to sensing the city and conversational platforms.

Please feel free to add any thoughts or ideas on the forum or in-Channel. And please check out MuDA's ear-opening, circuit bending and affordable festival coming up next!

^ visualisation of the Sound of MuDA, one of the workshop projects


What:Urban data literacy workshops.
When:March 1 - 5, 2017
Where:MuDA, Zürich, Switzerland.
Cost:Free of charge.
Bring:A laptop or tablet.
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We aim to:

  • brainstorm what information helps us be more aware of each other in a local community
  • find existing open data covering and leading the way to this type of information
  • learn how to make use of data with visualisation and fact-checking in everyday life
  • clean, prepare and share new datasets, openly instructing others in their use


  • Launch +++ Wednesday, March 1, 5 – 8 pm
  • Thursday ++ Friday, 5 – 8:30 pm
  • Saturday + 12 – 7 pm + Open Data Day
  • Sunday, March 5 ++ 12 – 7 pm

In parallel to our workshops, on Saturday, March 4, the Zurich R User Group is hosting a hackathon on occasion of international Open Data Day. They will focus on reusing public transport data from VBZ across various themes. We will present the intermediary results of this workshop there, and help community projects gain more awareness.

Visit muda.co for more details of the workshop and how to get here. Use our contact form or forum for any questions or feedback, and to find out about future Events.