The Invisible Hand – Deep Dive Discussions


As part of the public programming for The Invisible Hand, 4A presents a continuation of discussion after our ‘Please Explain‘ panel, with two additional deep dive discussions highlighting the most pressing issues facing users and consumers of technology and media in the Asia-Pacific. 

Data Practice: an in-conversation with Andrea Lau and Mitchell Whitelaw

2.00 PM – 3.00 PM

Data has been called ‘the new oil’ — a valuable resource that is getting increasing attention from business, government, communities and citizens. But how might we work with data from a practical, critical and creative standpoint? Andrea Lau talks with Mitchell Whitelaw about the emerging contours of ‘data practice’, touching on models of independent practice, engaging with government and business, poetry vs functionality and cross-cultural perspectives.

About the Speakers: 

Mitchell Whitelaw is an academic, writer and practitioner with interests in digital art, design and culture, especially generative systems, data-aesthetics, and digital cultural collections. His work has appeared in journals including Leonardo, Digital Creativity, Fibreculture, and Senses and Society. His current work spans materiality, data and culture, with a practical focus on creating “generous interfaces” for digital heritage. He has worked with institutions including the State Library of NSW, the National Archives, and the National Gallery of Australia, developing innovative interfaces to their digital collections. Mitchell is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University.

Andrea Lau is a data visualisation designer and co-founder and director at Small Multiples. In her role, Andrea leads the user experience and delivery of projects for Small Multiples’ government, media and innovative ASX-listed clients. She is responsible for spearheading business development, providing data visualisation direction, and educating organisations on the value of communicating stories through data. Andrea brings over ten years’ experience in digital services having worked at the ABC, Interaction Consortium and MediaSmart. With a particular interest in educating others on the power of data visualisation, she has been an instructor at General Assembly, Masterclass Tutor at Guardian News and Tutor/Lecturer at the University of Sydney. 

Designing a Participatory Economy with Cameron Tonkinwise 

3.00 PM – 4.00 PM

Interaction Design has helped create platforms that appear to seamlessly match supply-and-demand. Marketed as liberatory, these platforms have become exploitative ‘gig economies.’ It is nevertheless possible to redirect these platforms to promote more local, fairer ways of cooperatively providing services. This talk explores some of the interaction design patterns that could help establish ‘platform cooperatives.’

About the Speaker: 

Cameron Tonkinwise is a Professor, School of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney. Prior to this, he was Director of Design Studies and Doctoral Studies at the Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design. He has previously held the role of Associate Dean Sustainability at Parsons The New School for Design and was co-Chair of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at the New School in New York, United States of America.