May 11 2017
By Kristoffe Biglete

Annelie Berner

Inciting a perspective-shift: re-thinking our relationship with technology

You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t spend hours everyday using technology. Technological devices are made of parts many of us could not recognize, coded in languages many of us do not understand. All have been designed for us, as consumers, with little of our input.

Annelie Berner, Data Artist and Interaction Design Researcher at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, invites us to be critical, question the uses of, and participate in a dialogue with the apps and technology we use, as more than just the end user.

For Annelie, open channels of communication requires an effort and willingness to care on both the part of developers and consumers. Her goal is to create this space for communication to occur and a relationship to develop. In order to have a dialogue, there must be an established and open relationship.

“As a Danish politician recently said; ‘Don’t threaten to leave, threaten to stay.’”

She believes we can develop this dialogue by ‘threatening to stay’. As a dedicated consumer refusing to switch to another technology, we can challenge the makers and companies in control to begin a conversation. By beginning to share information, an openness within and beyond the tech community can build channels of honest communication.

“The only feedback tech companies receive shouldn’t solely be ‘It’s broken. Fix it.’”

By building a relationship based on openness and transparency, Annelie believes we can begin to unpack, engage in, and question the decisions made during the development phases. We can transform the communication between the tech world and consumers from mainly complaints, to a dialogue. From understanding objects as end products, to part of a long-term technological process.

As an artist and researcher, Annelie is most interested in reminding people that there’s always another side to the coin. From hacking the UN happiness index with cupcakes, to visualising air quality through real-time light patterns, there’s always another way to see the world. And it’s worth taking a look.

- By Alexandra Connerty



Annelie Berner is a data artist, designer and technologist. She is interested in how to understand, think about, and interact with our digital worlds. Specially, how we can make data experiences that are aesthetic, tangible and consider all of our senses – from sight to taste. Currently, Annelie is an Interaction Design Researcher at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID).