Conference 2019

Theme: Emotions in data visualistions and information design.

Data is numbers, facts, true, bold. When we communicate data to an audience in a visual way, we need to add an emotional layer of design to convince the audience, to guide them, to attract them, to make them click. How can design choices help to add emotion to raw data? How do we bring the story across? How can we feel the numbers?


  • Steve Haroz – How the Brain Perceives and Remembers Quantities. We routinely encounter quantitative visual information in the form of charts, maps and infographics. But the guidelines for creating these visual representations often rely on unsubstantiated opinions and traditions without a clear origin. In his talk Steve will instead briefly introduce the science of how our brain perceives and reasons with visual information. And he will describe how his research takes a more empirical approach to forming visualization guidelines and testing their validity.
  • Joost Grootens – More Matter with Less Art. In this age of a super-abundance of information, on the Internet, for example, there is a need of formats that can clearly present enormous quantities of information and subsequently make it manageable. The atlas is a good example of such a format. The work of Studio Joost Grootens explores the atlas format, its meaning in the digital age and its application to disclose maps and non-cartographic subjects.
  • Anna Wiederkehr – An exploration in visualizing emotion. Tracking, visualizing and interpreting data has become routine through the myriad of apps, dashboards and devices integrated into our daily lives. Discrete data from the human experience no longer goes uncounted: from the beats of our hearts to the steps of our feet. Abstract data however, where language and numbers are limited, has been largely left untracked and unvisualized. Can topics vital to the human experience collected and conveyed visually? Fine. is an investigation of how emotion visualization could look like and how it could work. It is a systematic exploration of how data visualization could be used to help us communicate and reflect on our experiences.
  • Stefanie Posavec – Observe, Collect, Drawing : Documenting the world using data. As a designer and artist, Stefanie uses data-gathering and data-visualisation as a design process, taking seemingly ‘cold’ data and using it to communicate warmer, more subjective messages. She will highlight the various esoteric and ‘outsider’ data collection processes and data visualisations that have inspired her to see observation as a form of making/creating, exploring how it both influences her creative practice and also functions as a starting point for making the concept of data more accessible to a wider audience, showing how in an era of ever-increasing data, we all can – through channelling our inner ‘anoraks’ – start to view data through a warmer, more human-focused lens.
  • Benjamin Wiederkehr – Design Against Violence Globally, hundreds of millions of people suffer from interpersonal violence including child maltreatment or sexual abuse. Reliable information on this is scattered across statistical databases, technical reports, and academic journals. Together with the World Health Organization, we’ve built a platform which combines the existing scientific body of knowledge. This talk shares the learnings from aggregating data from over 3700 scientific studies, spanning 50 years of research, and covering up to 200 countries. It offers advice on how to visualize without bias and how to report without blame.
  • Marie Segger – Her talk will focus on how to showcase data journalism on social media, what it means to present complex topics in an attention-driven economy and how we can engage readers on social media beyond quick likes.
  • Paolo Ciucarelli – How do we make people understand – and act – through data when they don’t master the abstraction of analytical representations? How do we engage stakeholders that are not interested in data or don’t want to see it and lack motivation? How do we represents the nuances and the uncertainties of social phenomena that we are now able to capture? How do we reconcile the symbolic description of a phenomenon with the experience we have about it? A “poetic” approach to data could help answering these questions: there are moments in the data-journey when “feeling” the phenomenon behind the data could be as relevant as accurately “seeing” the data that represent it.