About DATALab

A research group based in the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, DATAlab is focused on expanding information-centric design methodologies for the built world. In particular, the emergence of big data is enabling us to analyze subjects in ways that could not have been previously imagined. Digitally accessible datasets continue to grow in both size and number, in large part, due to the ubiquitous gathering potentials of mobile devices, software logs, and remote sensing technologies. Access to data describing countless metrics, such as flows of people, goods, information and capital, environmental conditions, demographic properties, and personal income, suggests an expanded capacity for understanding and mobilizing our physical environment. As a result, data-centric methodologies represent an active frontier in design-research at a variety of scales, ranging from object to urban design. While in recent years big data management and visualization have generated a tremendous body of work, DATAlab is particularly focused on identifying the next generation of design methods and tools that critically reflect a meaningful utilization of data for the design of our physical environment.

DATAlab was co-founded by Mona El Khafif and Maya Przybylski in 2014.