dARTa is a data and art design workshop that brings together data geeks and creatives to portray important data in a way that appeals to the public. Its goals are to unleash new, innovative ways for researchers to present data; provide creatives with content to generate evidence-based art; develop long-lasting partnerships between researchers and creatives; generate outputs that could be reproduced and tested with audiences, and produce learnings on how best to disseminate research.


A community survey was held in Glenwood to extract the main issues and challenges in the community, and artistic, interactive displays were created from the data collected. These triggered a dialogue that identified small achievable projects aimed at tackling the challenges. Safety emerged as the biggest common concern for residents, with implications for place-making, lighting and the use of public space.


The project demonstrates the convergence of art and data, to tell stories and generate dialogue, in order to identify projects that address community challenges.


What has been achieved

  • Data collection through surveys, social media, workshops and public engagements to identify community challenges.
  • Data displays, interpreted by artists and shared publicly.
  • Engagements with planners and influential community actors on the outcomes
  • In the next phase, the data aims to inform plans for the area that will be developed by the Urban Improvement Precinct in Glenwood and eThekwini Municipality.


Alignment with IUDF

  • Spatial integration: identifying local spatial issues and improving local community planning processes.
  • Inclusion and access: community participation in public placemaking, using diverse digital and physical tools to extract data and experiences.
  • Growth: opportunities to create jobs for local community members, especially in the arts, and to incorporate creative tools in policymaking.
  • Governance: an all-of-society approach to developing community solutions, including business, civil society and the city itself.



Government: ward councillor and eThekwini Municipality, Urban Improvement Precinct

Civil Society: KZNSA Art Gallery, local artists, community in Glenwood

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