Sensing as Noticing

Facilitating Practices with Ecological Data

A graduate thesis on human interactions with sensor-gathered ecological data in smart cities.

User Interaction, IoT, Design Research, Speculative Design
Timeline: September 2020 - April 2021

︎  Read the final document 
︎  Watch the final presentation



Sensing technologies and the Internet of Things have made it possible for enviromental data to be gathered and distributed. When people are able to interact with this data, an opportunity exists to shift their perspective about their local ecology. This design research explores a range of possible social interactions with sensor-gathered environmental data. By experiencing the data through multimodal interactions that reflect the liveliness of nature, users may better understand, and relate to, their ecological community. 

Research Question:

How can the design of a multimodal multi-species sensing network in urban environments facilitate acts of noticing to shift the humans’ perception of their own ecological identity?



The MGD (Master of Graphic Design) final project is discovery driven. I scaffolded my exploration through three areas of Inquiry:

  1. Where might an interface act as a meeting point between human and nonhuman systems?

  2. How might the interaction take form? 

  3. How could multiple interactions be unified across a system?

To envision a system of interactions I drew on my aggregated research to design a prototype.