Bernelle Verster
Bernelle Verster
  • indiebio
  • Signed up 3 years, 3 months ago
  • Last seen 4 months, 1 week ago

Interfaces, spaces between. Opportunist, post-environmentalist, bioprocess engineer. Tinkerer. Gamer. Learning data viz

I have a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering where I investigated value from sanitation. Following this I did research in water, working with teams on water sensitive urban design. I found it too abstract to be implementable, and while working there we were experiencing the severe drought in Cape Town. It frustrated me that we had no good guidance to give to people to survive the drought and to adapt to the future 'new normal'. I felt disillusioned with research and wanted to visualise and communicate what we already know, to allow it to better inform our actions. I am a big fan of decentralised, or appropriately scaled interventions, and while large scale has its place, I believe we need greater focus on the other end of the scale. At the same time small, decentralised interventions need to fit the bigger picture and not duplicate or counter other efforts. I think visualisation and 'big data' can help coordinate this.

So to pursue this I made a career move and am trying to teach myself design, animation and data visualisation, specifically data driven documentation, and I think Python may be good for this. I'm really still figuring this out.

My interest is not in education, but I think education can be a good way to generate data in the high resolution (neighbourhood or even street level) that makes urban metabolism relevant to everyday people, or relatable, in general.

I gave a talk about my big idea in 2019, and the blogpost continued some thoughts from it:

While I know a game is a massively ambitious venture, there are existing initiatives that could be adapted, and even if we don't reach a fully fledged game, the things learnt and concepts realised on the way will be the real win.

Research interests

Biology, biotech, waste management, wastewater management, sanitation. Regenerative agriculture. Games. Data visualisation. Tinkering. Open source. Decentralisation. Also, not a researcher anymore. But, you know, topics of interest.

Ongoing work

Task Project Status
Creating interactive template to make beautiful visualisations for city flows Metabolism of Cities In Progress
Add a how-to tools and tuts (resources) page for data visualisations Metabolism of Cities Open