An exploration in visualizing emotion – and other abstract things

Tracking, visualizing and interpreting data has become common place through the myriad of apps, digital dashboards and physical devices that are integrated into our day to day lives. Discrete data doesn’t go uncounted: from the beats of our hearts to the steps of our feet. The fuzzier kind of data though, where language and numbers are limited, has been largely left untracked and unvisualized.

We as designers are often tasked with creating a visual experience which give a broader understanding to dense subjects like our economic future or bring our users and viewers through the complex issues like violence . For these topics we have data. Others however, topics vital to the human experience like pain, taste, memory or emotion don’t yet quite fit into our dashboards and devices. Without quantitative data, using a good old fashioned bar chart won’t do the trick. So, how could we begin to collect and convey these experiences visually?


In this workshop we will look at some of the challenges with visualizing qualitative – or fuzzy data. We’ll spend the beginning of the week trying different methods of recording data and systems for visualizing it. Towards the middle of the week, you’ll pick one of the topic to tease out further and re-abstract it to reflect its original subject. By Friday’s exhibition, you should be able to present either a digital or physical version of your visualization and an explanation of how it works.

Bitte mitbringen

  1. Eigener Computer
  2. Stifte und Papier
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