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Data visualisation does political things

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conference contribution
posted on 27.09.2018 by Joanna Boehnert
In this paper I advance the theory of critical communication design by exploring the politics of data, information and knowledge visualisation in three bodies of work. Data reflects power relations, special interests and ideologies that determine which data is collected, what data is used and how it is used. In a review of Max Roser’s Our World in Data, I develop the concepts of digital positivism, datawash and darkdata. Looking at the Climaps by Emaps project, I describe how knowledge visualisation can support integrated learning on complex problems and nurture relational perception. Finally, I present my own Mapping Climate Communication project and explain how I used discourse mapping to develop the concept of discursive confusion and illustrate contradictions in this politicised area. Critical approaches to information visualisation reject reductive methods in favour of more nuanced ways of presenting information that acknowledge complexity and the political dimension on issues of controversy.

History

School

  • The Arts, English and Drama

Department

  • Arts

Published in

Design + Research + Society 2016: Future Focused Thinking Design Research Society 2016

Citation

BOEHNERT, J., 2016. Data visualisation does political things. IN: Lloyd, P. and Bohemia, E. (eds). Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society, Future-Focused Thinking. 50th Anniversary Conference of the Design Research Society, 27th-30th June 2016, Brighton, Vol 6, Section 14, pp. 2361-2380.

Publisher

Design Research Society

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/01/2016

Publication date

2016

Notes

This is an Open Access Conference Paper. It is published by Design Research Society under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

ISSN

2398-3132

Language

en

Location

University of Brighton

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