Activity Sculptures: Exploring the Impact of Physical Visualizations on Running Activity

Abstract : Data sculptures are a promising type of visualizations in which data is given a physical form. In the past, they have mostly been used for artistic, communicative or educational purposes, and designers of data sculptures argue that in such situations, physical visualizations can be more enriching than pixel-based visualizations. We present the design of Activity Sculptures: data sculptures of running activity. In a three-week field study we investigated the impact of the sculptures on 14 participants' running activity, the personal and social behaviors generated by the sculptures, as well as participants' experiences when receiving these individual physical tokens generated from the specific data of their runs. The physical rewards generated curiosity and personal experimentation but also social dynamics such as discussion on runs or envy/competition. We argue that such passive (or calm) visualizations can complement nudging and other mechanisms of persuasion with a more playful and reflective look at ones' activity.
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Simon Stusak, Aurélien Tabard, Franziska Sauka, Rohit Ashok Khot, Andreas Butz. Activity Sculptures: Exploring the Impact of Physical Visualizations on Running Activity. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2014, 12, 20, pp.2201-2210. ⟨10.1109/TVCG.2014.2352953⟩. ⟨hal-01301123⟩

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