Michael Stoll, professor and head of the Information Design track at Augsburg University, Germany, explains an infographic from the forthcoming Taschen book, “History of Information Graphics"
ATHENS, Ohio – The School of Visual Communication (VisCom) in Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication hosted the Visual Discovery Symposium on Thursday, November 7, in the Athena Cinema in uptown Athens. Marking the beginning of the second annual Visual Discovery Conference, the symposium featured speakers from as far away as Germany on topics such as historical information design, infographics and extended reality (XR) design.
The symposium began with a presentation from Karl Gude, professor of practice at Michigan State University and director of the Media Sandbox. Gude’s session was titled “But I’m not Creative!” He described the common tendency people have to claim that they weren’t born creative, which Gude argued is a misconception.
“There’s no evidence that the baby in that incubator next to you is more creative than you,” Gude joked.
He outlined five ways his audience could unleash their creativity, including pushing their comfort zones, challenging assumptions and learning brainstorming techniques.
Catherine Ma, a PhD candidate at the University of Miami in Florida, presented a session on the emerging data journalism field in China and presented some of the work she created as a data journalist.
Madeline Lane, a junior publication design major at OHIO, presented her project, “Madeline through the Ages,” in which she manipulated photos from her sorority’s historic composite collections of members. Lane used Photoshop to merge the faces in six photographs from 1910-1980 with her own face. She explained that the idea evolved during discussions in the class she took from VisCom professor John Grimwade, and what she learned through the process.
“The core of who we are is generally the same, minus the goofy hairstyles and …trends,” Lane said.
Alyssa Fowers, a Data Science for the Public Good graduate fellow studying data visualization at the University of Miami, presented a session called “Reason Over Rules: Making good infographic decisions” which described a book project she is developing with renowned data visualization expert Alberto Cairo.
Ana Mojica Myers, who teaches cartography and GIS and mapping as an assistant professor of instruction at Ohio University, presented a session on web mapping.
Michael Stoll, professor and head of the Information Design track at Augsburg University, Germany, discussed a forthcoming book, “History of Information Graphics,” to which he contributed some items from his personal collection. The selected pieces included the first world map to include America, created in 1507, a first aid handbook from 1507 that included some vivid illustrations of battlefield injuries, and a warship diagram from 1705.
The presentation included some elements of instruction for the audience which was largely made up of visual communication students from OHIO and the other schools participating in the Visual Discovery Conference.
Projecting images from the 1968 book “How Babies Are Made,” Stoll praised the “calmed-down layout” as appropriate for the delicate subject matter.
“We must enable thinking,” he said. “We should not block thinking through shock, for example”
Nina Krug, Nadine Ehrenberg, Lara Thiel and Simon Schabel, all students at Augsburg University, presented a session on “Tangible, explorable infographics, and Adonis Durado, former Knight Fellow in the School of Visual Communication, presented “the World of XR.”
Roughly 70 students and faculty members continued the exploration of visual storytelling during the Visual Discovery Conference over the weekend. Attendees worked in teams to develop projects on the regionally-focused themes of mining, the Ridges and beermaking.
The conference was conceived in 2017 by a group of visual design faculty members who wanted to provide a professional-quality conference experience for their students, who are often unable to attend conferences due to cost. There was no registration fee for the Visual Discovery Conference and faculty presenters forgo their usual presenting fees in order to keep costs low.
Groups presented their projects on Monday, November 11, in Schoonover Center room 450.
To kick off the 2019 Visual Discovery Conference, practitioners from institutions around the world shared their projects and innovations at the Visual Discovery Symposium held at the Athena Cinema in uptown Athens on November 7.