Transmedia Analytics

In the spring ’14 semester I coached the project Transmedia Analytics, a collaboration between interactive production company Submarine, University of Amsterdam, and MediaLAB Amsterdam.

This project goal was to capture a variety of data points from two interactive web based documentaries (The Last Hijack and Unspeak) and present these data in a way that allows the producers get an understanding of how audiences engage and interact with their creation, and enrich the user experience accordingly. This resulted in a custom designed analytics dashboard tool: Figures. The progress of the project was documented on the students’ project blog.

“Dancing the Digital” published on VVVNT

A short article of mine was published on VVVNT recently, dealing with the expressive and philosophical potential of performance practices combining dance improvisation and live coding.VVVNT is an online journal, forum, & project space for sharing ways of thinking with practical connections across time, scale, system, & discipline.

Tinkering at the minor Intelligent Environments

I made an excursion to another HvA location to give a workshop tinkering to students of the minor Intelligent Environments. These students, mostly from rather techy backgrounds like Software Engineering, Game Development etc are quite a different target group from the design & humanities students I’m normally used to at the MediaLAB.

For this workshop we took the better part of a whole day, and worked in multiple iterations to let students think about alternative interfaces, playful interactions and how you can work with objects as interface. To understand the important role the design of an interface plays in an any interaction. The students were asked to find an interesting – or boring – object and take it as a starting point to come up with a playful installation. To let the meanings, connotations and affordances the object embodies be leading in the kind of installation you will build. I found it very useful to have a number of show and tell rounds – with a gaming expert even! – to help the students improve their ideas and ways of executing them. Although the creative process was somewhat out of the comfort zone of some students, they all made tremendous efforts and progress in the course of the day.

My absolute favourite is this weirrrrd granny interface for a classic racing game using a walker (NL:rollator) :D

Tinkering workshop spring ’14

Tinkering the Olympics

During this semester’s tinkering workshop at MediaLAB, we spent a morning exploring Scratch and Makey Makey. In this pressure cooker style workshop, the students were asked to create playful interactive installations inspired (more or less) by the winter Olympics. This workshop is all make and very little ‘me-explain-you-listen’. The group was awesome and went nuts programming their own audio feedback, or even visual interfaces with customized avatars. Costumes were designed and tributes were paid to the olympic rings. Real nice. Some favourites:

Sven Kramer Ice Skating game

Knights Fight - with awesome costumes

And this classic: Frustration!

The Dark Side of Amsterdam

During the Amsterdam Light Festival, that took place between the 6th of December 2013 and the 19th of January 2014, residents and visitors of the city Amsterdam were being challenged.

During this light festival a group of international students seduced residents and visitors to enlightening the Dark Side of Amsterdam. Visitors were asked to confess about their dark side by wearing anonymous “sin” glasses in a nighttime light painting portrait that were projected onto the Mozes & Aäron church at Waterlooplein. 411 People used the installation, and revealed that with a majority of 91 people, Amsterdam is still a sin city of lust. Also see the infographic, twitterfeed and Flickr set.

Check out for more info. I coached on the concept development and project management of this student project.

The Dark Side of Amsterdam won the audience award at Beamlab #32

Tinkering workshop fall ’13

At the very start of semester, I facilitated a tinkering workshop for our new bunch of talent! Tinkering is a key literacy in contemporary culture. Unstructured time for playing, exploring, experimenting and messing around with technologies allows us to think about the systems we use differently, and opens up space for new ideas and even innovation. It was a morning full of crazy fruit installations, weird games and minority report installations, we made using the excellent tinkering tool Makey Makey and easy-for-all programming environment Scratch.

Women’s Safety in Public Space

By using the powerful relationships between scent & emotion, and confidence through embodiment, PosturAroma helps women feel safer by enhancing their posture. By sensing the angle of the back and using scent as trigger, the user is reminded to keep her head up, and straighten her back when stepping into the world. Walk proud to feel confident, look confident, be safe.

During the fall 2013 semester, I coached a team of students for their project Women’s Safety in Public Space. The project that explores collaborative design efforts that look into what it means to design collectively across different countries and contexts. Two teams, one in Amsterdam and one in Bangalore will work on the same project brief in parallel, while regularly exchanging insights about their methods and progress. Students will work on the question: how can we enhance objective and subjective safety of women in public space, by innovative uses of digital media, communication technology and/or (networked) electronics? The research question will be answered separately for the context of Bangalore and Amsterdam. View Flickr set here.

PosturAroma will be presented at the Design & Emotion conference in Bogota, Colombia, in Fall 2014

The project is phase 1 of the project Design Across Cultures, a larger effort commmisioned by Cisco and made possible by Center of Expertise.

The Bangalore project was coached by researchers from Fields of View at IIIT-B University. The results of their project Convers(t)ation can be viewed here:

[insert period joke] …the presentation

[insert period joke here] Researching Menstruation Online from Astrid Bigoni

[insert period joke] …continued

Cross-language Image Analysis on Wikipedia

This research was part of the DMI Summer School project I did in week two: Menstrual Issues Across Language Spacess

What images are shared across language spaces on Wikipedia regarding menstruation?

> what content specific images are/aren’t shared across languages?
> what wikipedia specific images are/aren’t shared across languages?
> what do the images say about the status of the topic ‘menstruation’ on wikipedia across languages?

Astrid Bigoni | Zuzana Karascakova | Emily Stacey | Sarah McMonagle

with a big thanks to:
Federica Bardelli  (designs)| Giulia de Amicis (designs) | Han-Teng Liao (technical and linguistic advice)

Wikipedia Cross-Lingual Image Analysis Tool (DMI)

Continue Reading →

[insert period joke]

Google Autocomplete across languages: most queried word combinations with “I’m having my period”.

This research was part of the DMI Summer School project I did in week two: Menstrual Issues Across Language Spacess


Astrid Bigoni | Zuzana Karascakova | Emily Stacey | Sarah McMonagle

with a big thanks to:

Federica Bardelli  (designs)| Giulia de Amicis (designs) | Han-Teng Liao (technical and linguistic advice)

Research Question

What questions do women ask google regarding menstruation?

  • what are common queries across languages?
  • what topics are unique and only occur in a single language?
  • how are languages linked through queries about menstruation?


Google’s database of Google Autocomplete suggestions per language (and country).

Where the predictions come from (source:

As you type, autocomplete predicts and displays queries to choose from. The search queries that you see as part of autocomplete are a reflection of the search activity of all web users and the content of web pages indexed by Google.”


The DMI’s Google Autocomplete tool

Read more for method, operalization, findings and all the datavisualisations

Infographic: Top Queries Across Languages, By Size

Infographic: Categories With Example Queries

Infographic: All Countries and Categories (excl UK)

Continue Reading →