S-H-O-W conference, November 27 & 28, 2020

Online & Utrecht, the Netherlands

Conference 2020

How can we help our audience to make more sense of data visualisations? How can we help to make it more understandable? One way is to work with rules. Rules about colour, axis, size, shapes, interactivity, etc. We can’t expect our audience to take the time to decode complex and beautiful visualisations, but we can design the conditions to aim for that. If we as practitioners use rules in a clear way, the reader can understand a data visualisation more intuitively. On the other hand, even with all the rules, every data visualisation is unique and different. The creativity is obviously in the rules. We can use the creativity to play around with and search for new and exiting ways of expression to connect with our audiences.

At the second S-H-O-W conference in November 2020 we will examine, learn and discuss the rules. We look at how to make them and break them.
The S-H-O-W conference exists of talks, discussions and workshops. The entire conference will be in English.

You can join the conference online or (limited seats) at the Anatomiegebouw in Utrecht.


PRE EVENT: Thursday, September 3

13:15 – 13:30        OPENING AMANDA PATIST
Amanda Patist is a Self-Service Analytics coach at Cargill, where she helps to empower people to make data driven decisions locally, quickly and reliably. Amanda started her data journey in Biomedical Science and made the change to data viz when she joined The Data School at the Information Lab in London. Since moving to Amsterdam, she has joined the board of Viz for Social Good and has helped to set up Data Plus Women in The Netherlands.

Goof van de Winkel is the founder of Graphic Hunters, a training institute in Utrecht fully focussed on data visualisation.

Amanda and Goof will co-host the event.
13:30 – 14:10         JANE PONG
Jane Pong is a data visualisation journalist at the Financial Times in Hong Kong, where she specialises in data-related information graphics. She designs visualisation tools that help the reader in finding patterns and stories in the data. Her work aims to bring beauty to scientific rigor and form to artistic introspection. Jane has previously worked as a graphics editor at South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and Reuters in Singapore.

14:15 – 14:55         ANGELA MORELLI
Angela Morelli is an award-winning Italian information designer based in Norway. She is the CEO and co-founder of InfoDesignLab. From climate change to health, she has worked with a wide range of scientific organisations and professionals, including the European Environment Agency, the IPCC and the World Meteorological Organization. Her goal is to co-design engaging solutions that empower audiences and support informed decision-making.
Angela gained her MA in Information Design, having previously obtained a BA degree in Engineering and an MA in Industrial Design. She is an acclaimed international speaker, an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins in London, a visiting lecturer at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design and a visiting lecturer at BI Norwegian Business School. She was awarded the Il Monito del Giardino Award in 2013 and named a 2012 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum thanks to her commitment in communicating the science of Water Footprint through information design and data visualisation.

After 20 months of intense iterations led by 91 of the best climate scientists in the world, and after a final negotiation that involved hundreds of delegates from the different countries of the United Nations who scrutinised every word and every figure for six days and nights, the summary for policymakers of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C was approved on 8th October 2018. This report has been defined as the most important climate report of the 21st century, because it is the scientific foundation for how we can solve one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced. Angela Morelli and Tom Gabriel Johansen from InfoDesignLab led the co-design process of the figures of that report and it has been a defining journey for them, professionally. Angela will guide you through the lessons learnt of an epic design journey that had its foundation in a highly collaborative and participatory approach.
14:55 – 15:30        BREAK
15:30 – 16:10         LAUREN KLEIN
Lauren Klein is an associate professor in the departments of English and Quantitative Theory & Methods at Emory University, where she also directs the Digital Humanities Lab. She is the author of several books—most recently, Data Feminism, coauthored with Catherine D'Ignazio, which outlines a set of principles for more just and equitable data science.

Data feminism is a way of thinking about data science and its communication that is informed by intersectional feminist activism and critical thought. This talk will show how challenges to the male/female binary can challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems; how an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization; and how the concept of "invisible labor" can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems. Together, these examples demonstrate how feminist thinking be operationalized into more just and equitable data practices.
16:15 – 16:55         GIORGIA LUPI
Giorgia Lupi is an information designer whose work takes a humanistic approach to data. In her practice, she challenges the impersonality of data, designing engaging visual narratives that reconnect numbers to what they stand for: stories, people, ideas.
Giorgia Lupi co-founded Accurat, an acclaimed data-driven research, design and innovation firm. She joined Pentagram as a partner in 2019. She has been honored with numerous awards, was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2018, and recently joined MIT Media Lab as a Director’s Fellow. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and has been exhibited in for example the Design Museum, the Science Museum, the Centre Pompidou; the New York Hall of Science and at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art in Israel. She is co-author of two books (Dear Data and Observe, Collect, Draw! A Visual Journal), where she explores the details of daily life through hand-drawn visual data.

Today, data are everywhere. But what do data really mean, and how can we extract real value from them in our daily lives? In this illustrated talk, information designer and Pentagram partner Giorgia Lupi will discuss our new data reality and "data humanism," her unique philosophy for understanding and working with data.

Surveying her diverse work over the last decade, Lupi will introduce her distinctive approach to data visualization and offer a look into the far-reaching applications of her work in data and design, from corporate to institutional, to personal.

Giorgia will encourage creatives (and non!) to harness data as a design tool, while respecting human privacy and experience in their output.
16:55 – 17:30        BREAK
17:30 – 18:25         MIRIAM QUICK & STEFANIE POSAVEC
Miriam Quick is a data journalist, researcher and author who explores novel ways of communicating data. She has written data stories for the BBC, worked as a researcher for Information is Beautiful and the New York Times and co-created artworks that represent data through images, sculpture and sound. These have been exhibited at the Wellcome Collection, National Maritime Museum, Southbank Centre and Royal College of Physicians (London) and internationally. Oddityviz, her award-winning project with Valentina D'Efilippo, visualises David Bowie's song 'Space Oddity' on 12-inch records. She is currently working with Duncan Geere writing music for a data sonification podcast, Loud Numbers, which will launch in late 2020. I am a book. I am a portal to the universe., co-authored with Stefanie Posavec, is her first book.

Stefanie Posavec is a designer, artist, and author whose practice focuses on finding new and experimental approaches for the communication of data and information. These projects range from being physical, danceable, wearable, experiential, and often use a human-scaled, hand-crafted approach. This work has been exhibited internationally at major galleries including the V&A, the Design Museum, Somerset House, and the Wellcome Collection (London), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and MoMA (New York). She was Facebook's first data-artist-in-residence at their Menlo Park campus, and recent art residencies include the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London. Her work is also in the permanent collection of MoMA, New York.

I AM A BOOK. I'M POST-INFOGRAPHIC. (And I'm out today, so buy me!)
An extra-special talk to celebrate the launch of I am a book. I am a portal to the universe., a new book through Particular Books (Penguin UK). After both working in data visualization for many years and feeling the effects of chart fatigue, Stefanie & Miriam realised it was time for a shake-up in how we communicated information. They believe a shift to 'post-infographic' explorations has long been needed to advance and extend our field... are we doing enough to reach the data-uninitiated or data-intimidated?

Asking themselves this question led to create their new book, a love letter to book design – and the world around us – as manifested through data. In this talk, Stefanie & Miriam will explore the unique collaborative process behind the book, which is written for children and adults alike.

We will give away 3 books at the end of the event.
18:30– 19:10         LACE PADILLA
Dr. Lace Padilla is an assistant professor in the Cognitive and Information Sciences department at the University of California Merced. She was awarded an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship for work at Northwestern University. She received a PhD in Cognitive and Neural Sciences and an MFA in Design from the University of Utah. In 2018, she was awarded a Visionary Grant for research on Improving Trust in Uncertain Science funded by NASA. She has contributed significantly to research on decision making with visualizations. Her empirical research utilizes displays of uncertainty, such as hurricane forecast maps, to understand how the brain represents, transforms, and reasons with visual information. She works collaboratively with visualization scientists, geographers, and anthropologists. In her spare time, she is a strong advocate for minoritized groups in STEM. The National Science Foundation appointed her as their 2017/2018 STEM ambassador for her outreach work, and she has received numerous awards for work with underserved populations.

From Hurricane forecasts to COVID-19 projections, we are forced to make life and death decisions with uncertainty visualizations more than ever. Unfortunately, uncertainty is one of the most challenging concepts for most people to understand, and visualizations of uncertainty can be highly complex and abstract. In this talk, Lace will discuss methods for making sense of uncertainty visualizations and how to avoid being misled by commonly confusing visualization choices.
19:10 – 19:15        CLOSING
We will announce the 3 winners of the new dataviz book by Miriam Quick & Stefanie Posavec: I am a book. I am a portal to the universe

Friday, November 27 & Saturday, November 28

Sandra Rendgen is Head of Design at Berlin-based visualisation studio Infographics Group. She has previously worked as an independent author, concept developer and strategic consultant with a focus on data visualisation, interactive media and the history of infographics. Her academic background is in art history and cultural theory. She is the author of several books in the field, most recently The Minard System and History of Infographics.

"The Treasure Hunt - Defining the Rules of Dataviz"
Visualising data is a complex process which requires an astonishing variety of skills and experiences. At times, the term „visualisation“ seems to suggest that all you need to do is pour numerical data into a visual template, and the increasing use of visualisation tools supports this notion. But the process of transforming abstract information into a visual is by far more complex than that. A visualisation does not just come about, it has to be developed in a long series of creative and editorial decisions.

The search for rules is the search for guidance in these decisions. We have come a long way in understanding how visualisations are read and interpreted, but most likely, we will never get to a point where rules can completely substitute the knowledge and intuition of an experienced designer. Her talk provides a brief reflection on how our current set of basic design rules came into being, and on the role they have in our field today.
Hannah Davis is a generative musician and researcher based in NYC. She is the creator of TransProse, which programmatically translates text into a musical piece with a similar emotional tone. Her generated music has been played at The Louvre, the BMW Museum, the Fabrica Alta, and others. Currently, she is recording an album using generative techniques.

In this talk, Hannah will show her experiments in data sonification - from translating books into music based on their emotional content, to creating musical stories from historical sound samples, to creating melodies from interesting datasets, to more recent experiments in generating music from video. She will talk about the overlaps with generative music, machine learning, and subjective data, and talk about the invisible structures that can create meaningful output.
Shadi El Hajj is a creative technology consultant operating at the intersection of software engineering, R&D and digital art. He has worked for international clients over the last 15 years, while creating digital dance performances, interactive installations and algorithmic visuals at international festivals.

Language and communication imply a set of mutually agreed upon rules and conventions, while aesthetic emotion often stems from unexpected relationships and metaphors, deviation from the norm, a sense of wonder and serendipity. In the context of data visualisation, developing a visual language comes with its own set of challenges, having been traditionally more concerned with conveying information clearly and factually. However, adding an emotional and experiential dimension to our visualisations can turn them into an efficient communication vector. We will be looking at strategies to semantically connect form to data and explore the emotional potential of metaphor, while still maintaining intelligibility and enabling rational decoding.
Andy Kirk is a UK-based data visualisation specialist, consultant, trainer, author and researcher. He founded the website VisualisingData, where a lot of resources and references can be found. Andy delivers workshops on information visualisation and graphic literacy all around the world. In 2012 he wrote his first book on data visualisation (Data Visualisation: a succesfull design process). In 2016 he released his second book (Data Visualisation: a Handbook for Data Driven Design), that had a restyle in 2019.

"Design For Your Audience": OK, But How? In this talk Andy Kirk unpacks what it actually means to design for your audience. He will explore the different aspects of classifying audience characteristics around motivation, capability, capacity and pressure. Additionally, he'll look at the different settings in which audiences may encounter or experience visualisations, and how these affect design choices. Finally, Andy will reflect on ways of making data more relatable and participatory to amplify the possibility of impact.
Giovanni Magni is a designer. His work is focused on data-driven explorations and experiences. He is currently working as Head of data visualization at Accurat, a design studio based in Milano and New York City.

"Dataglitches: a high-five to broken charts". Initially conceived as a pure aesthetic tribute to data visualisation, this collection of drafts and mistakes soon became much more. In this talk Giovanni will give context to the images collected explaining their role and evolution within the design process.
Award-winning data storyteller RJ Andrews is author and founder of Info We Trust. He helps organizations solve information problems. Prior to concentrating on data visualization, RJ worked for NASA, the National Science Foundation, and Raytheon. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and Master of Science in Engineering from Northeastern University.

"The Bar Chart: Official Rules & Regulations". A zany tour through the norms governing (and thwarting) our most stalwart chart. We will examine the emergence, evidence, examples, and exceptions to bar chart rules. Along the way we will consider creative approaches lost and errors that somehow persist to today. Most of all, we will see how important it is to be persistent in our vigilance toward designing charts that inform. Learn how to bar chart and unlock understanding of all charts and graphs.
Katie Peek, Ph.D., is a journalist and data visualisation designer who specializes in print graphics for science magazines. She is a contributing artist at Scientific American and regularly creates pieces for Audubon and the New York Times. She has also illustrated several books, including Magnitude: The Scale of the Universe and Einstein's Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable. Originally an astronomer, she also holds a degree in science journalism and is the former graphics editor for Popular Science. She lives in Baltimore.

"The Data Viz Multiverse". The audience can shape a graphic just as much as the source data can. Katie will examine how the same data sets might morph into a multiverse of visualisations, each appropriate to the readership that will encounter them. What rules change as the audience does? And which rules stay the same for everyone? She will compare published graphics in different magazines, as well as re-imagine a few of her own graphics for experts, laypeople, children, and other hypothetical audiences.
Boris is professor for Interaction Design in Potsdam (Germany) and co-director of the Urban Complexity Lab – a research space at the intersection of design, science and the humanities. He has received a diploma in Graphic Design from the Hochschule für Künste Bremen (College of Art and Design Bremen, Germany) and a MA in Computer Related Design from the Royal College of Art London. His award-winning work focuses on generative design, data visualization and science communication.

"Making and Breaking Rules. Visualisation Between Creativity and Usability". Great visualisations rely on the successful combination of science and design. Especially the design aspect of a visualisation is not yet fully formalised. So during the development, creativity & innovation are as important as clarity & usability. Balancing these two approaches is not trivial. An innovative and creative visual representation might be harder to understand. On the other hand, established and accessible visualisation techniques are inadequate for certain topics and data sets. The question which rules need to be uphold and which can be broken depends on the context, the aims of the project and the use case. In his talk, Boris will discuss the dichotomy of creativity vs. usability in the context of data visualisation. He will present projects and methodologies ranging from generative design to speculative interfaces, co-design workshops and UX sketching.
Evanthia Dimara is a prospective Assistant Professor of Data Visualization at Utrecht University. Her fields of research are Human-Computer Interaction and Information Visualisation. She focusses on decision making -- how to help people make unbiased and informed decisions alone or in groups. Evanthia is especially interested in the kinds of decisions for which the current decision-support systems, models and people's heuristics tend to fail.

''Interaction for Data Visualization: Can what you do affect what you see?''
While the visualization community has iteratively structured and formalized the representation aspect of visualization (e.g., guidelines, rules, frameworks), significantly less attention has been paid to the interaction aspect. The nature and role of interaction has actually sparked discussions and arguments since the visualization field was created. And while HCI and UX research study interaction rules for years, visualization researchers and practitioners can not necessarily see how to apply them to their own data-oriented practices and needs.

Evanthia discusses the role of interaction in data visualization:
• What do we really mean by "interaction" in data visualization?
• Can a static visualisation be interactive?
• Is there a way to compare the "interactivity" of different visualizations?
• Which are the current interaction techniques in visualization?
• How can we design novel interactions?
Steve Haroz is a research scientist at Inria in Saclay, France. His research explores how the brain perceives and understands visually displayed information like charts and graphs.

"Perceiving the Gist: Quick but Biased".
Visualisation creators often aim to "show the data" by presenting many raw individual items rather than only a simple summary statistic (such as an average). This approach allows viewers to see a "gist" or overview of the data, but it raises some important questions:
• Are the rules the same when showing a few values vs. when showing many values?
• When we make decisions, are we better off viewing lots of data or just a summary?
• What properties of the data might bias our ability to perceive an accurate overview?

Steve Haroz will discuss how the visual system makes quick judgments using lots of information. Moreover, he'll present empirical research that shows limitations on our ability in our precision and neutrality when viewing visualisations.



Anatomiegebouw, Bekkerstraat 141, Utrecht
This historical building, once part of the University of Utrecht, was designed by architect Joseph Crouwel. The theater where the conference will take place, was used to host lectures on veterinary anatomy. You can still see the rails in the floor where the bigger animals were brought in.

We recommend to travel by public transport to the Anatomiegebouw. There are several bus connections from the central railroad station in Utrecht to bus stop Wittevrouwen. From here it is only a few minutes to the venue. If you will travel by car, the best option to park your car is at Car Park Grifthoek. Please note that you can also join the conference online.



S-H-O-W is organised by Graphic Hunters, a training institute on data visualisation.
If you have questions about the conference, please send a mail to SHOW@GraphicHunters.nl.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn for news and updates about the event.
The entire conference will be in English.

if you want to become a partner or sponsor, or want to help out as a volunteer
please send a mail to SHOW@GraphicHunters.nl

Graphic Hunters will invite speakers from abroad to the conference, who in most cases
travel by plane to the Netherlands. CO2 emissions from these flights will be compensated
by contributing to Trees for All.


November conference
The price for the conference in November will be announced.
There will be two options: you can follow the conference online or you can come to Utrecht and meet some of the speakers and participants. There are limited seats (80) for the venue.

Graphic Hunters offers 3 free diversity tickets.
One of the aims of the conference is to stimulate diversity. Not only in the representation of speakers but also the attendees. If you are or know of anyone who is interested in attending from a under-represented community in data visualisation, or somebody who doesn't have the financial means to join the conference, please send a mail to SHOW@GraphicHunters.nl. The diversity tickets cover only the cost for the (online) conference; travel expenses or overnight stay are not included.


Registration will open soon