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Crisis mapping workshop with PetaJakarta

Prototypes for Designed Engagement: Workshop on #BigData Design Strategies with PetaJakarta
Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 10am – 4pm
Room 90, Snell Library

Big data technologies and ubiquitous connectivity have revealed new potential operations for design practice. Beyond new tools and platforms that engage crowd-sourced and real-time data, big data technologies open up new ways of approaching design, new methods of practice, and new engagements with cities and publics. At the same time, the global population is urbanizing, and the Global South is ‘coming online’ with increasing access to cheap connective technologies. It is projected that one billion new users will come online in the Global South in 2015, radically changing the makeup of the digital publics and offering new opportunities for participatory civic structures.

This workshop will examine some of the prototypes for integrating big data into design practice, emphasizing participatory, responsive, iterative, and collective design strategies within a changing global environment.

Sara Dean is a lecturer in architecture at the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design and the design director of anexact office in San Francisco, California.

Tomas Holderness is the Geomatics Research Fellow at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science, University of Wollongong.

Etienne Turpin is principal director of anexact office and Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the SMART Infrastructure Facility, Faculty of Engineering and Information Science, University of Wollongong.

Together, Sara, Tomas and Etienne coordinate, a web-based public platform which uses a geo-social intelligence approach to big data in order to study and promote urban resilience.

Curated by Prof. Alessandra Renzi, produced by the Northeastern Center for the Arts

pictures from opening

Photos by E. Karaman, D. Offenhuber, and  Maria Amasanti/Northeastern University. – media facade project in collaboration with Philips Color Kinetics

photo by Peter Schmitt

On Thursday, April 24th at 7:30pm please join us at Centennial Common in front of Ryder Hall for the public opening of .vote, a special collaboration between Philips Color Kinetics and the Northeastern Information Design and Visualization MFA program. .vote is the initial application for a transparent, three dimensional LED matrix, both developed by MFA students for the facade of Ryder Hall to display information after dark. The interactive application that captures, aggregates and feeds back data gathered from the Northeastern community to the light installation on the façade of Ryder Hall. This interactive installation exemplifies how the visualization of public information can contribute to campus life in a meaningful way.

See also – Northeastern Center for the Arts

Team: Miriam Zisook, Ashley Treni, Lauren McCafferty, Esat Karaman, Vivian Sun, Rania Masri, advised by Dietmar Offenhuber (NEU), Susanne Seitinger (Philips CK), Zachary Fox (TA), Gadi Baron (Coop), Peter Schmitt


Lecture Feb 19, 2014 – Catherine D’Ignazio: Art, Maps and Civic Engagement

Catherine D’Ignazio (a.k.a. kanarinka) is an artist, software developer and media researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media. Her research centers around civic data and experimental geography — mapping the effects of informational, emotional, and political flows on the landscape. This includes mapping the global news media, measuring fear in post-9/11 urban environments, doing printmaking at the US-Mexico border or working with kids to make a neighborhood creek tell really bad jokes. Her current focus is a news recommendation system and game called “Terra Incognita” that helps people explore the world via global news stories.

Lecture Jan. 15, 2014 – Eric Gunther of Sosolimited

Sosolimited is an art and technology studio specializing in interactive environments and multi sensory design. Today their practice operates at the boundary of art, design, experience and information. Sosolimited performed ReConstitution, an award-winning live remix of the US Presidential Debates. Past clients include IBM, HBO, LG, Cirque du Soleil, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, L’Oreal, Honda, and the Nobel Peace Center. The studio has performed and exhibited artwork at Ars Electronica, Transmediale, Walker Art Center, Shanghai Biennial, ICA Boston, and the Cartier Foundation.




Swiss Style Reboot (Exhibition)

What is Swiss Style and why is it useful for today’s information designers? The Swiss Style Reboot exhibition, beginning on June 1st in Boston, presents the graphic design principles developed by the pioneers of Swiss Style, which is characterized by clear, functional and highly crafted visual communication. It explores their particular relevance for today’s infographics, data visualizations and interactive interfaces.

The first part of the exhibition showcases masterpieces by mid-20th century pioneers of Swiss Style, including Josef Müller-Brockmann, Max Bill and Karl Gerstner. The second part of the exhibition measures the significance of Swiss Style within today’s information-design community. It presents video interviews with well-known information architects from the U.S. and elsewhere, focusing on if and how they apply this style’s principles in everyday practice. The third part showcases new research by international designers who are currently extending the Swiss legacy into infographics, data visualization and interaction design.
“Design for understanding? Watch the Swiss.” –

Symposium Information Design and Data Visualization Boston 2013


Morning Events

Gallery 360, Ell Hall / Curry Student Center
11:00 a.m. – Gallery Talk: “Swiss Style Reboot”



Yanni Loukissas – Senior Researcher, metaLAB and Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
Mark Davis, Producer and Director, NOVA, Mars Rover
Glorianna Davenport – Senior Researcher, MIT Media Lab; Tidmarsh Farms, Living Observatory
Casper Harteveld – Northeastern University
Bang Wong – Creative Director, Broad Institute, Open Data project
Eli Kintisch, – Knight Project Fellow, MIT and RISD
Brian Wee and Brian Rosborough –
Dietmar Offenhuber – MIT Senseable City Lab
Jason Pearson, The Economy Maps, Washington D.C.


West Village F (Visitor Center), Room 20
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Part One – Principles of Information Design

Nicholas Bourquin and Thibauld Tissot – Onlab
Isabel Meirelles – Professor of Information Design, Northeastern University
Joel Katz – Author of “Designing Information”
Claudia Mareis – Professor of Design Theory and Director Institute of Research in Art and Design, Academy of Art and Design Basel

Part Two – Challenges for Data Visualization

Frenanda Viegas, “Wind Maps” and Martin Watterberg, Google “Big Picture”
Ben Fry – Co-author, with Casey Reas, of “Processing” and Founder of Fathom
David Lazer – “Digital Fragments: Social Network Media and the Boston Marathon Bombing”, Northeastern Center for Text, Maps and Networks
Andreas Amsler, Opendata Switzerland


Chris Pullman – former Vice President of Design for WGBH
Michael McPherson – Principal, Corey McPherson and Nash
Chris Myers, Chair of Design, University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Paul David Kahn, Experience Designer, MadPow, Boston
Kim Ducharme, Director of Design, CAST
Douglass Scott, Graphic design history professor, College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern
John Kane, Graphic design and typography professor, College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern
Tom Starr, Graphic and information design professor, College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern
Ann McDonald, Experience design professor, College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern
Mark Sivak, Experience design and engineering professor, College of Engineering, and College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern University
Jane Amidon, Associate Dean Graduate Studies and Research, College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern University
Jeff Howe, Journalism professor, College of Arts, Media and Design, Northeastern; former Neiman Fellow, Harvard University

Information Design and Data Visualization Boston 2013 is presented by the College of Arts, Media and Design, the Swiss Consulate, swissnex Boston, SwissInfographics, and Northeastern Center for the Arts.

Isabel Meirelles: Design for Information

Design for Information: An introduction to the histories, theories, and best practices behind effective information visualizations (Rockport, 2013) offers an integrative approach to learning basic methods and graphical principles for the visual presentation of information. The book surveys current visualizations that are analyzed for their content (information) as well as for their methods of presentation and design strategies (design). The objective is to provide readers with critical and analytical tools that can benefit the design process of visualizing data. While the book targets design students, it can be helpful to students in other disciplines involved with visualizing information, such as those in the (digital) humanities and in most of the sciences. My intention was to represent all disciplines in the book by including content and authors from diverse disciplines. It is my hope that the book will help broaden the dialogue and reduce the gap between two communities —designers and scientists— and foster problem-solving skills in designing for information.

Preview and order it at Amazon:
Read Robert Kosara’s review: