Florian Block
Research Fellow/Lecturer in Interactive Media and Digital Creativity

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Profile

Biography

My background is in Computer Science (Diplom from LMU Munich) and Human Computer Interaction (PhD Lancaster University). After my PhD I worked on the Life on Earth project, where I have designed, implemented, and studied the use of a series of interactive museum exhibits that aimed to help the general public learn about evolutionary biology.

I am proud to have produced digital exhibits and interactive web-apps that have been experienced by over a million people worldwide, both in museums and online.

I was appointed as a Research Fellow/Lecturer in Interactive Media and Digital Creativy at the Department of Theatre Film and Television at the University of York in January 2016. As part of this appointment, I am currently a full-time Research Fellow at the Digital Creativity Hub.

Research

Overview

My research lies at the intersection of human computer interaction, information visualization and the learning sciences. It focuses on the key role of interactive technology in driving the democratisation of data: empowering citizens to make their own discoveries and learn about science through the exploration of real world data.
 
Data significantly affect our lives as they inform policies, drive most discoveries at the cutting-edge of science, and are key to fully grasping many of today’s most pressing societal challenges: climate change, conservation and sustainable use of energy. Yet, despite initiatives to make data accessible to the public (such as data.gov.uk), it is still poorly understood how open data can be translated into a format that citizens are able to engage with meaningfully; desire to engage with; and that translates into civic action.
 
I aim to explore data-centric experiences for the general public as a new form of digital media, in which elements of open data, interactive visualization, digital art, sound, games and storytelling converge to foster rich and impactful civic engagement, in a wide range of societal issues.
 
The visible impact of my research lies partly in my commitment to create production-quality interactive experiences that reach large and diverse audiences. You can interact with the outcome of my previous research in seven museums worldwide as well as online.

Publications

Selected publications

My publications are regularly updated on my website.