Our living environment and the ways we live together, communicate and act are in constant flux. Data and its visualisation is a key resource for the representation and comprehension of these phenomena. Our cultural coexistence, the education and health sectors, the economy and the research sector are just some of the areas from which new issues and fields of activity emerge that we can only discuss with the help of visualisations and spatial data models. Innovative forms of information research and representation allow for the interplay of society, economy and science to be visualised and made experienceable.
The role of data designers is to disentangle the existing web of data and to design clear visual information. Data artists, on the other hand, are inspired by real data and experiment with novel forms of representation. The intersection of Data Design and Data Art is where inspiring and engaging forms of visual information and spatial interaction emerge.
Data designers investigate a wide range of data phenomena in a critical-explorative and analytical fashion. They have the skills to interpret them, to structure them visually and to communicate them in three-dimensional space. In doing so, they help to design social, business and political decision processes.
Data artists experiment with cutting-edge analogue and digital forms of representing and communicating data-based information. They use the variety and complexity of large data volumes to display them in physical and virtual spaces as visual-aural and even haptic data worlds ready to be experienced with all senses.
Narratively visualised information reveals a bigger picture and conveys knowledge in a sustainable way. The observer or visitor immerses himself or herself in the represented content. To paraphrase Alexander von Humboldt (1811), the artefact must “appeal to the senses without tiring the spirit”. Data telling means to contextualise information and to communicate it in a narratively engaging and emotionally experienceable fashion.