Visualising Systems

Unravel complex systems and visualise their interactions. Experiment and reimagine them through interventions, algorithms, models and simulations. Communicate your understanding through powerful system visualisations.

Enrol here!

Workshop Dates: July 20–24, 2020 (2 pm–10 pm CEST)

Faculty: Annelie Berner & Francis Tseng

What is Data Visualisation?

We are constantly moving within and taking part of dizzyingly complex systems. We often talk of these systems separately, as if they were distinct–the economy, the environment, the law, technology, politics, social life–though we also know they are, in our experience of them, fundamentally inseparable. That we easily experience these systems but have such a hard time understanding them is no doubt a source of great anxiety. How do we make sense of them? How might designing and visualising a system in one way or another shift the possible futures in which we will live? 

This workshop will draw on a variety of disciplines that attempt to tackle this challenge–in particular: visualization, modeling, and simulation. We will walk through how to think about such systems in a way that helps us to communicate them and develop intuitions about how they work.

What will you learn?

  • how to collect, classify, and encode data
  • processes to expose system workings
  • how to design and interpret algorithms, models and simulations
  • how to think through and represent complex systems
  • the foundations of data visualisation
  • using metaphor, visual relationships, mapping and interaction to make meaning out of data
  • skills to tell a story with data
  • analog and digital techniques for making visualisations

How will you learn it?

During this 5 day workshop, we will use analog and digital techniques to practice collecting, classifying and encoding data. We will experiment with analog and digital techniques for explaining, exploring and presenting complex systems. We will work through research, design and representation of multiple complex systems. The course will involve drawing, prototyping, and programming using both static and dynamic information. We will gather around the core topics of seeing the unseen, computation, and system visualisation. In seeing the unseen, you will learn processes to disentangle and research the components, agents, dynamics, and forces that compose multiple systems — spanning political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental forces. In computation, we will go more deeply into algorithms and simple models, designing our own algorithms in order to shape the systems towards our goals. In visualisation, you will create several visual representations of said systems and iterate for a final presentation. 

Is this for you?

Yes, if you want to understand systems better and create visualisations of them.

There are no prerequisites for this workshop.

What do you need to bring to the workshop?

  • A computer
  • Notebook & pen

Enrol now: There is a maximum number of 20 places available for each workshop, first come first served. Enrolment will be closed when the workshops are full.