Data Play Pavilion

The Data Play Pavilion is a pop-up exhibition space featuring a range of objects and experiences that invite you to step into the future. The exhibition is interactive, mixing design with technology and exploring a number of themes aimed at provoking discussions on what it means to “design with data”.

The Pavilion features work from the research centre, Design Informatics Master students and Tesco Bank who have been collaborating with us on their Mercury project for the second year running.

The concept for the exhibition pavilion grew from the nature of the work to be exhibited inside, looking into a data driven future. It matured as a reflection on what data is and on what it might look like at a macro scale. One way to represent data could be to express the medium it travels in: wires and cables. Crucially the pavilion has to be inviting, playful and eye catching; despite its diminutive size, it had to be able to compete for attention during the extremely busy Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Ropes were chosen to express the wires and cables while bringing extra playfulness to the exhibition inside. Ropes are affordable, durable and waterproof; these are essential qualities to sustain the wet Edinburgh summers and the battering of festival goers.

The core structure of the pavilion is made from off-the-shelf scaffolding components, namely galvanized steel tubes and clamps. They form the skeleton of the pavilion. The structure is cladded both inside and outside with painted OSB boards.

Offsite prefabrication took place over few weeks within the Design Informatics workshop with a trial and error process to accommodate tolerances varying from raw scaffolding components to precise CNC cut sheeting and interactive installations inside.

The pavilion and the Data Play exhibition were conceived simultaneously, pushing collaborative design where architects, graphic designers and makers worked together to make a truly unique creature which certainly brings joy and plenty of smiles for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.