In praise of Data

Data often has negative connotations. When we think of data, we think of big corporations using data to profile us. Most of the time, you have no idea where it lives or how to get rid of it. Sometimes it’s analysed and represented in charts and graphs, or it’s inputted into an algorithm that calculates your preferences - 'you searched for that, so you might like this'

Although the idea of big data is sometimes intimidating, in reality, data is just details of our lives, often used to enhance our experiences - like an online supermarket remembering your weekly shopping essentials. But what if data was used to create something physical, that offered us a more human approach to design.

At Meta, we have used data to design our TIME collection. Customers give us their special date and we transform the numbers into dimensions which determines the shape of each piece of jewellery that we make - a translation of an invisible bit of information into a physical object.

Our collection captures moments in time. The first piece in the collection, the TIME ring, has twelve points, a nod back to an analogue clock. When designing the collection, we also thought of traditional representations of data, and took a radar chart as a visual reference and starting point. This was developed into a 3D jewellery collection with a geometric aesthetic - a tangible object, representing a memory which people can keep, touch and cherish.

So, although the thought of data harvesting conjures negative connotations and can be an enfringement on rights, in our case it is much friendlier, creating narratives in design, telling stories that are important to us. This is the world that we want explore, and our debut collection dealing with data is the first of many.

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