Having successfully produced a series of case studies about design in innovation for the KTN’s Design SIG earlier in the year, I was commissioned to create a report about Design & Data Visualisation for the KTN’s members. This report was based on an event that I spoke at in October 2013 at NESTA.
For the launch of the report I wrote about the publication for the KTN site and I was also invited to speak, on May 6th, at the Future Cities Catapult at a Cross-Catapult Design Group Meeting which was used for sharing new ideas across industry.
I spoke about how the report is an introduction to the crucial role of design in data visualisation and all the ways it can be used to better communicate information in this digital age. I highlighted a few of the contemporary data visualisation practitioners who are showcased in the report.
By presenting case studies of their work the Design SIG aims to stimulate thinking on how design and data visualisation can support innovation and deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits.
In October I was invited to speak at a data visualisation workshop organised by Rachel Jones of the Creative Industries KTN. The event was a showcase of interesting data visualisation practitioners as inspiration for the new Technology Strategy Board data exploration competition – launching at the beginning of 2014.
I was honoured to be selected as part of the evening’s line up of speakers, which ranged from artists like Michael Magruder Takeo to graphic designers like Information is Beautiful to more commercial practitioners such as Hal Bertram of Ito World.
I spoke about Elio Studio’s Creative Data initiative, which seeks to bring designers and scientists together to communicate data and research to the public through installations, exhibitions and creative learning programmes. I focused on The Butterfly Effect project as the pilot study for Creative Data, about the future of The Norfolk Broads.
It was super interesting to hear other speakers deliver their speedy Pecha Kucha formatted presentations and see what kind of work is going on in the art world, the academic world and the business world.
We saw that there’s been a lot of focus on maps as a default visualisation tool and that a lot of visualisation of data remains in a traditionally graphic space – often in graphs and sometimes overly complicated visuals which aren’t easily readable. There’s certainly room for more creativity and more engaging communications.
The most interesting work for me, unsurprisingly perhaps, were the examples of sculptural installations and public engagement work. I particularly enjoyed presentations from Rachel Jones of Active Ingredient and her project A Conversation Between Trees and Julie Freeman’s work on Translating Nature.