Etienne Turpin
“Mesoscalarity: Data Polities and Designed Engagement”

The presentation will focus on three concepts for data-driven design which have emerged from research for We will outline the concept of mesoscalarity as a means to both describe and analyze the integrative approach to ‘big data’ (spatio-temporal data mining), ‘big crowdsourcing’ (interventive operations within data mining processes), and ‘small data’ (community-led data collection efforts). We will elaborate the concept of data polities by considering how design-driven institutional ethnography can locate potentials for organizations of various scales and capacities to reimagine the role of data collection and analysis as a means to enable institutional transformation, collaboration, and adaptation. We will consider how designed engagement enables both the formation and study of data polities while demanding a lithe, adaptive comportment to mesoscalarity and transferability across domains, geographies, and ecologies of practice.

About the speaker: Etienne Turpin is a philosopher researching, designing, curating, and writing about complex urban systems, the political economies of data and infrastructure, visual culture and aesthetic practices, and Southeast Asian colonial-scientific history. He is director of anexact office and co-principal investigator of