This presentation presents a case in which information design was used to investigate an art collection, ending up becoming an art piece itself.
The Espoo Museum of Modern Arts Collection is a collection of public art, with around 1000 artworks exhibited in almost 300 indoor and outdoor locations in the city of Espoo, Finland. Despite effectively promoting art as a public good, it is hard for the citizens to understand and view the collection as a whole. Information design was seen as a way to reveal the collection to the public, showing the location and the typology of the artworks, mapped in relation to publicly-owned land in the city with simple visual statistics summarised
The work was exhibited as a large spatial installation, one of the central artworks of the exhibition. Born as an informational piece, it was purchased by the museum as an art piece, and added to the same collection it visualises.
This presentation describes information design entering the museum as “official” art rather than as ancillary information. This and other recent examples of “information design at the museum” open some questions for our professional community: should information design be treated and appreciated aesthetically as art? What is gained and what is lost? What is the aesthetic experience of information design? Could it be pop art, conceptual art, or narrative art? Or is it something different, closer to journalism or science?
This talk seeks to explain the benefits and the opportunities for innovation opened up by carrying out visualisation in cross-disciplinary groups, following a user-centered information design approach.
This study takes into consideration a series of collaborative events called Legal Design Jams, in which designers, lawyers, coders, policymakers and innovation enthusiasts join their different expertise with the aim of giving a visual, user-friendly makeover to existing legal documents. This case shows how designers can contribute to issues outside their typical domain of expertise, and how lawyers can envision their subject matter in innovative ways by going beyond textual communication.
Literature about boundary objects (e.g Star & Griesemer, 1989; Bechky, 1999) and collaboration across professional communities (e.g. Levina & Vaast, 2000), affordances (Gibson, 1986) and sensemaking theories (e.g. Weick et al. 2005; Vlaar et al, 2006; Maitlis and Lawrence, 2007), can help explain why engaging in visually mediated collaborative activities, aimed at creating multimodal documents as an outcome, allows different professionals to merge their knowledge, obtain new insights and rethink existing solutions. Information design does not only have a value and a use as a 'finished product', but it can have an important role as an activity.
Visualising information is a sensemaking activity that allows people with different backgrounds to develop common understanding of a complex issue. This, in return, enables meaningful multidisciplinary work in ways that are not supported by written or verbal texts.