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Datascape of Hashtag Safety Matters

Rachel Hayward

Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the # symbol that are used to categorize tweets and make them more discoverable. The artwork aims to highlight the use of Twitter hashtags to bring attention to women’s safety whilst travelling.  Each colour represents the following hashtags;

#crimenotcompliment - blue

#allwomen - purple

#saraheverard - gold

#shewaswalkinghome - orange

#reclaimthesestreets – light pink

#reclaimthestreets - magenta

The bubble’s size (changes exponentially) represents a day’s worth of tweets. From the smallest (1 tweet) to the largest (80,000 tweets).

In total the piece covers 2 years’ worth of data from January 2021. The large bubbles ‘arrive’ in March 2021 at the beginning of Sarah’s disappearance, disrupting the existing status quo shown in the colour dataspace of the bubbles.

The artwork is generative, primarily using a physics engine called matter.js to create interactions between the bubbles. It is set up in P5JS an open-source JavaScript library used for creative coding.

Rachel's research is focused on the role of technology in providing behavioural insights and support with respect to active travel safety. 

Prior to training as a landscape architect Rachel worked as an Engineer within the space industry working in various roles. Her current interests combine both existing computational and problem-solving skills with her love of design.

Her other interests include how data-driven methods can help the design professions achieve sustainable design. Including generative and parametric modelling, the use of AI and machine learning and crowdsourcing.

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