Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Behaviour & Information Technology

For a Special Issue on

Data Physicalization in the Wild

Manuscript deadline
20 October 2023

Cover image - Behaviour & Information Technology

Special Issue Editor(s)

Kim Sauvé, University of Bath
[email protected]

Hans Brombacher, Eindhoven University of Technology
[email protected]

Annemiek Veldhuis, Simon Fraser University
[email protected]

Rosa van Koningsbruggen, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
[email protected]

Jason Alexander, University of Bath
[email protected]

Steven Houben, Eindhoven University of Technology
[email protected]

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Data Physicalization in the Wild

The emergence of technologies and ideas around data physicalization has paved the way for its application in various domains, showcasing its potential for real-world use. The Special Issue on Data Physicalization in the Wild aims to provide an inclusive platform for researchers to share their ideas, reflections, and experiences regarding the translation process of data into tangible representations for real-world settings. Data physicalizations involve encoding data into physical artifacts leveraging their geometry or material properties. While previous research has primarily focused on device- and domain-centric approaches, which respectively emphasize technology and custom implementations, there is a need for overarching strategies that consider the broader context of physicalizations for real-world use. Recent efforts, such as literature reviews and conceptual frameworks, have shed light on how the different design elements of a physicalization should be considered as part of a wider context of use and in relation to its surrounding audience. In line with these insights, we argue for a more active consideration of contextual factors and how these are implemented across domains.

There is a wide variety and breadth in the problem space of designing physicalizations for specific domain applications. On the one hand, there are overarching challenges that are transferable across domains and concern any physicalization, such as:

  • Which data is ‘valuable’ or ‘suitable’ to represent through physicalization?
  • For which context and location do we design physicalizations?
  • How do we physically encode the data as 2D visualization principles are only partly informative for and transferable to physical 3D space

On the other hand, there might be more domain-specific challenges, such as:

  • How can we support collaborative interpretation of data in a communal or educational context? 
  • How can we translate an otherwise intangible and complex topic, such as socially relevant issues, into a visualization that creates awareness or actionable pointers? 
  • What is the role of demographics, personalities, and social relationships when introducing physicalizations in personal or semi-public settings?

The goal of this Special Issue is to present work related to the design of data physicalizations that aims to solve real-world problems and to understand the utility of physicalizations for domain applications more broadly. This includes: design principles/guidelines for designing physicalizations for real-world problems or across domains, analysis of case studies exploring physicalization design for different domains, and, lessons learned from designing and deploying physicalization designs across domains.

We welcome researchers to contribute their original papers as well as review articles. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Interactive, constructive, or static data physicalization artifacts for various domains, such as education, personal informatics, sustainability, or office well-being.
  • Design issues and principles for data physicalization in practice.
  • Physicalizations, data sculptures, and related artifacts.
  • Methodologies for the evaluation of data physicalization.
  • Physicalization workshops.
  • New contexts or locations for data physicalizations that illuminate opportunities to design for or study data physicalization in practice.
  • Ethics of data physicalization in (semi-)public spaces.
  • Studies investigating the individual and collaborative interpretation of physicalizations.
  • Future vision articles discussing trends and directions pertinent to data physicalization in practice.


Important dates

  • Manuscript submission deadline: 20 October 2023
  • Notification to authors: 1 February 2024
  • Deadline for submitting a revised version: 1 April 2024
  • Special Issue publication: Q3-Q4 2024

Submission Instructions

  • Select this special issue title on ScholarOne when submitting your paper
  • Papers should be ~5000 words in length

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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