Choosing a Project

Choosing a Project from Knowle West Media Centre on Vimeo.

What kind of data-art projects can young people successfully be a part of? The short answer is any, but this depends on your time and resources. Assuming that both are in short supply, it is safe to plan well in advance and choose your projects carefully.


•  Speak to your colleagues and find out what projects are already ‘on the go’ in your organisation before you start. What data could be available? Would the project benefit from having that data visualised?

•  What skills will be needed to complete the project? If the young people don’t have these skills already you may need to prepare workshops in advance with facilitators. Try and order the work the young people do in terms of difficulty, starting with the easiest tasks.

•  Start small. If possible, allow the young people to test the water by making a contribution towards an already-functioning project in a safe environment, where it doesn’t matter if they don’t get it right first time. Expecting the young people to deliver an entire project straight away will be too much pressure.

For example, a pile of audience feedback forms lying in a folder somewhere is a data set! Could the young people create some digital images that demonstrate the findings?

•  Give it plenty of time. Learning new skills takes time, and mistakes are a predictable result of working with new staff of little experience. If you plan time to compensate for these errors and don’t try and achieve too much too quickly, the project will run more smoothly.