Sreelakshmi V Menon
Experience Designer

Who Is Shane?

Who Is Shane?

An experiment to understand how personal data is
sorted, studied and misinterpreted through algorithms
which make the system less human. 



The amount of personal data available today is overwhelming. However, there is no guarantee that the data one may receive after going through different channels, especially on the internet, could be deemed authentic. Who Is Shane evolved from a speculative design experiment to understand that different personas of one individual can be created subjectively through one qualitative dataset. 


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  • All the data on the playing cards have been extracted from an informal 20 minute chatwith an un-expecting individual at the Art Bar, Royal College of Art London. We have codenamed him/her ‘Shane’.
  • Participants of the game were given 'paper trophies' explaining the moral of the game along with doodles of our planning process after interviewing 'Shane'.
  • The music that was played the background was formed from data extrapolated from a recording of our conversation with ‘Shane’.
  • The game examines the inhuman ways in which our data is sorted and studied through algorithms. The participants' role in the game was that of the algorithm.
  • The game explores the subjectivity in collecting data.
  • The human is a complex system that does not translate into the binary systems of the algorithm.

Team :  Sreelakshmi V Menon (Global Innovation Design, Royal College of Art & Imperial College London), Eliot Allison (Contemporary Art Practice, Royal College of Art), Elizabeth Manders (Jewellery & Metal, Royal College of Art), Harry Gammer-Flitcroft (Photography, Royal College of Art), Maria Arroyo (Fashion Womenswear, Royal College of Art) (Nov 2016)
Mentor : Karin Von Ompteda, OCAD University, Canada