Turning data into design

Workshop hosted by Arup and LSE Cities

For 15 years the Urban Age project, based at LSE Cities, has investigated the future of cities. This has required the development of comparative visualisation techniques to analyse the performance of cities from across the world. Data availably is often limited and frequently inconsistent. This event connected the backstory of data to the design you see all around you.

As partner to London Design Festival, Arup held this event in collaboration with LSE Cities around the power of turning data into design to shape better cities.

The event, which explored the role of design and digital innovation on data, wasbased around the Conflicts of an Urban Age exhibition held in Arup’s phase2 gallery space in London.

  • Tour of Conflicts of an Urban Age exhibitition: Using design to have a conversation about data (Peter Griffiths, LSE Cities)
  • Resource Urbanisms: Applying data to investigate divergent city models (Alexandra Gomes, LSE Cities)
  • Human-centred design: Using qualitative and real time data to inform urban design strategies (Zung Nguyen Vu, Digital Services at Arup)


    Alexandra Gomes

    Alexandra Gomes is a Research Officer and responsible for coordinating LSE Cities’ spatial analysis across a range of projects. She is currently completing her PhD at UCL Bartlett School of Planning, where she is developing a multi-sensory approach to urban spatial analysis, while working as a teaching assistant at the Bartlett Planning UCL.

    At LSE Cities she coordinated the Resource Urbanisms project, and supported other projects that include Shaping Cities in An Urban Age (book), Urban Age Africa newspaper, Yangon analytics, RAMSES (a project funded by the European Commission) and Urban Age Delhi.

    Prior to joining LSE Cities she worked as a Research Assistant at The Bartlett School of Planning and Geography Departments at UCL. She holds an MSc (Res) in Sociology and Development Planning from ISCTE-IUL and an MEng in Urban Engineering from IST-UL (Portugal). In Portugal she also worked in spatial planning, sustainable transport mobility and spatial analysis at CESUR – Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon University.

    Peter Griffiths

    Peter Griffiths is Managing Editor of LSE Cities. He has significant experience in developing accessible narratives across print and digital media, and supports efforts to make research and outreach more accessible. He was co-curator of ‘Conflicts of an Urban Age’, a Special Project of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at Biennale di Venezia, and project managed Urban Age’s new website, celebrating ten years of research, in 2015. He also supported the development of the Urban Age Shaping Cities Conference programme in Venice and is currently focused on supporting the delivery of Urban Age’s Africa programme.

    Zung Nguyen Vu

    Zung leads research and strategy for Arup’s Digital Studio, where she is bridging the gap between social science research, policy making, and design for cities. Projects she has been involved in range from delivering concepts for a new world class museum to advising on masterplans for urban districts. In her work Zung advocates for evidence-based decision making, community participation, and social innovation through technology. Prior to Arup, Zung worked at the Danish innovation consultancy ReD Associates, where she similarly used ethnographic research methods to advise some of the world’s leading organisations on product innovation and commercial strategy. Zung’s work is heavily influenced by her academic training in urban policy and political geography. She has received grants to conduct academic research on the relationship between urban governance and housing, and has been affiliated with the New School in New York City, the London School of Economics, and the University of Cape Town.

    Camilla Siggaard Andersen

    Camilla Siggaard Andersen is a Digital Studio Consultant at Arup in London, with a background in architecture, urban technology, and city planning. She delivers cross-disciplinary, evidence-based, and people-first design and planning solutions across all scales, ranging from public realm strategies and design, to engagement methodologies and user research. Previously, Camilla worked at the renowned urban quality consultancy Gehl in Copenhagen and New York, where she led the development of the Public Life Data Protocol, aiming to improve the planning industry’s understanding of how urban space impacts people’s behaviour and experiences. Camilla has also taught “Strategies of Urban Liveability” at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad, and she has published articles on the future of mobility, public life, and technology in cities.