Review: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits

The Library of Congress holds a collection of hand-drawn infographics about the life and progress of the African-American population. The series was prepared by the sociologist and civil-rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois with a group of his students and alumni for the Paris World Fair in 1900. A stunning new book from Princeton Architectural Press…

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Review: Numbers and Nerves

»We know from the start that we are creatures of compassion and feeling, but also animals of analysis and measurement. Which way of seeing and expressing the world actually achieves our desires, meets our needs, and satisfies our lives to a greater extent?« Statistical analysis provides a very specific way of understanding large scale phenomena. Statistics…

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Review: Dear Data

To craft something requires skills, mastery and patience. It means to create something step by step, with a passion for details and execution. Crafted products are en vogue these days, and in a world where industrial and digital creation processes are the norm, hand-crafted things appeal to us as rare and precious gems. Such are…

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Review: Nervous Systems

If you need brain food, some irritation and some art for inspiration – the House of World Cultures in Berlin is an excellent place to turn to. For years, their team has puzzled me with events and exhibitions around topics as diverse as the Whole Earth Catalogue, Ape Culture, Stupid Music or with their ongoing…

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Review: Map. Exploring the World

When I think about cartography, I am always fascinated by the different associations the term evokes in my brain: from map nerd to mathematical superbrain, from school atlas to interactive data visualisation, from “dusty” library map room to high end technology and design studio. It is mind-boggling to see how cartography is undergoing this major…

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Review: Mapping Manhattan

Maps are a means to store and communicate location-based data – from physical landscape information to climate data, from popular tourist spots to school data. Maps have also become a very popular format for recording personal memories and subjective impressions (such as in Raul Arias’ collection of literary references in Madrid or Hugleikur Dagson’s crazy…

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Review: Generative Logos

Even though tools like “Processing” have been out there for a while, computational design is still a rather new strand in visual communication. In computational design, the final visual appearance is not shaped by the artist’s pen or frozen in an Adobe file, but is dynamically controlled by software. “Design by coding” means the designer…

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