DATAVIZ: VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF COMPLEX PHENOMENA
data visualization & computational design
An in-depth workshop on the visual representation of large datasets. Study how to capture, prepare, visualize and refine data. Gain insight in dataviz theories and start to look at data in a different way. Learn about the history of data visualization and how to create your own new and interesting designs for the future.
This workshop focuses on the visual representation of large datasets. Data is everywhere. Every product we buy, every place we visit, every Facebook event we attend and every web search we do is captured for eternity by invisible systems and corporations. Meanwhile, governments and institutions are publishing online an increasing amount of data under open-data license. At this point, our existence might be reduced to an endless stream of measures and numbers. What if we could visualize this data, and discover the patterns within the chaos?
Data is taking over your life, and it’s time to take back control. How? To observe, explore and extract meaning from complex datasets you’ll need robust methods and effective visual tools. By rearranging numeric data, reinterpreting qualitative information, localizing information and building visual taxonomies, you can develop a diagrammatic visualization that will allow you to unveil and describe the hidden connections in complex systems.
Here's what happened
Some pictures from the workshop.
To learn more about participants and their projects check the workshop page on nodebox website.
DensityDesign is a research lab within the design department (INDACO) of the Politecnico di Milano. It focuses on the visual representation of complex social, organizational and urban phenomena.
Paolo Ciuccarelli is associate professor at Politecnico di Milano, where he teaches at the Faculty of design in the Communication design master degree. He is head of the Communication design research group and a member of the Design PhD board, both at Politecnico di Milano’s Design department. His research focuses on the development of data, information and knowledge visualization tools, and on methods to support decision-making processes in complex systems.
Donato Ricci is a post-doc research fellow and senior designer at DensityDesign Lab, where he carries out scientific research, design projects and teaching activities in the field of visual epistemology. He is research assistant professor of Digital tools and methods for visualization at the Politecnico di Milano, as well as assistant professor of Representação e conhecimento (Knowledge and representation) at the Universidade de Aveiro.
Since January 2010, after achieving his master’s degree in Communication design, Michele Mauri has been working as research fellow at CRISP (Interuniversity research centre on public services), where he designs and develops visual models to explore public administration data.
NodeBox — Experimental Media Research Group
NodeBox allows you to create a 2D generative visual output (static, animated or interactive) with Python programming code. The application is aimed at an audience of designers, as it provides an easy set of state commands that is both intuitive and creative. It is essentially a learning environment and a new way to approach graphic design.
NodeBox 2.0 is cross-platform and has a node-based GUI.
Frederik De Bleser
Frederik De Bleser is a researcher in the arts at Sint Lucas Antwerpen, studying the link between computers and art. He and his research team are the creators of NodeBox. The goal of his doctorate is to research the impact of procedural graphics applications such as NodeBox on graphic designers.
Tom De Smedt
Tom De Smedt is currently pursuing his PhD on computational creativity. He is affiliated with the Experimental Media research group (EMRG, Sint Lucas School of Arts, Antwerp) and the Computational Psycholinguistics group (CLiPS, University of Antwerp). In his spare time he works on NodeBox and on a computer game called City In A Bottle.
Lorenzo Benussi is an open-data expert and a researcher at the TOP-IX Consortium where he develops projects and policies to foster Internet growth and on the “open innovation” paradigm in the ICT and media industry in particular.
- Introduction to generative design and node-based programming in NodeBox 2
- Data visualization in NodeBox, overview of popular data formats
- Exercises to gradually build on the concepts students have learned, using a selection of datasets to make examples
- Parallel session for students with programming experience: introduction to the Pattern library
- Lecture by Donato Ricci: Do you see what I mean? Reasons, arguments, rhetorics and dramas of Visualization culture
- Lecture by Lorenzo Benussi: what is open-data?
- Strategies to prepare data before we feed it into NodeBox. Aggregating data from multiple sources
- Design playground. Students will explore and produce the datasets to be used in their final design
- Design proposals and project idea presentations
- Design production with tutoring sessions
- Design production with tutoring session
- Print of the final posters
- Final review
This workshop is intended for designers new to NodeBox and data visualization. Participants will be selected based on the quality of their portfolio and on the specific skills they can bring to the table.
No previous programming experience is required. During the second day of the workshop there will be a parallel session about the data-mining Pattern Library for students with coding skills.
NodeBox 2 is an open-source software, free to download from:
THE “PATTERN” PYTHON LIBRARY
The introduction to the Pattern library will be held by its author, Tom De Smedt; this part of the workshop is only relevant to students already familiar with code.
Pattern is a free Python package with functionalities for web mining, language processing, machine learning and network analysis, with a strong focus on ease-of-use. It offers a practical mash-up of often-used tools to harness the web as a corpus, which usually requires the use of several independent toolkits chained together.
The World Wide Web is an immense collection of linguistic information, and has gathered attention for the past decade as a valuable resource for tasks such as machine translation, opinion mining and trend detection. The challenge in this use of the WWW lies within the fact that it is interspersed with code (e.g., HTML markup) and lacks metadata (e.g., "this is written in English", "this word is an adjective", "this word is a date").
Pattern is bundled with 30+ examples and is thoroughly documented.
Documentation and download:
Here is an example of a web mining project created with Pattern:
Fees and payment
Workshop fee: € 480,00 (VAT included)
Students under 30: € 400,00 (VAT included)
To participate in the workshop, please fill in the enrollment form.
When filling in the form, you will be able to choose one of the following payment methods:
- credit card (the transaction will be handled through secure PayPal servers)
- directly through your PayPal account, if you have one
- bank wire transfer
We will evaluate your submission according to the prerequisites mentioned above, and email you our feedback as soon as possible.
If you are admitted to the workshop you will be notified either through a PayPal payment request (to proceed via credit card or PayPal account) or an email from our admin office (with details for your bank wire transfer), depending on the payment method you chose.
Enrollment will be confirmed only following the payment, which must be made by:
- December, 7 for bank wire transfers
- December, 9 for credit card or PayPal account transactions.