Data visualization and storytelling with Giovanni Magni

What is data visualization? Why is so important also in the design field? How should a service designer use data to improve her or his service ideas? These are some of the key questions Giovanni Magni will answer during his module about data visualization and storytelling.

Ever more experts and great thinkers refer to the contemporary era as the “Information Age”. Someone even theorized philosophies and “religions”, such as the works of Luciano Floridi with his “Information Ethics” and Yuval Noah Harari whit his “Dataism”, just to mention a few. In a world full of information, organizing and visualize data is a precious resource in almost all human activities. The design world and so the service design discipline is not excluded from this macro-trend.

It’s not a case that in the last years emerged a brand new discipline within the design field, as a specialized area of graphic design called “Information Design“. As Giovanni said: It’s not about making data beautiful, it’s about dealing, organizing, and displaying information. DataViz is a design process itself, and within a service design process it’s especially important in the analysis phase, giving designers the ability to handle quantitative and qualitative information and to know how to visualize them accordingly to their needs and goals. Dataviz poses its roots in graphic and visual design. It deals with traditional elements such as colors, shapes, movement, and position. It follows Gestalt’s principles like proximity, similarity, closure, continuity, common movement, and experience; it also exploits figures of speech like metaphors. Get to know about DataViz means to become able also to distinguish between “good” and “bad” visualizations, which helps a lot in finding the right information about a specific topic of interest.

Thanks to a balanced mix of lessons, live tutorials, and practical activities, our students will start learning about the history of data visualization, its theory, and principles, as well as case studies and best practices. Then, they will have the chance to face a real service design problem where they will learn how to organize data, how to produce charts, and to create a proper analysis, through guided activities to familiarize themselves with the best and most used DataViz tools.

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