Expert Galleries: DensityDesign
DensityDesign is a research lab in the Design Department of the Politecnico di Milano focusing on the visual representation of complex social, organizational and urban phenomena. As part of our Expert Galleries series, DensityDesign curated Visualizing Cultural Data. Here's their take on the gallery.
How and why did you choose the focus of the gallery?
In the past few years, several institutions and organizations have digitized and made an incredible amount of books, images and in a broad sense collections of cultural data available online. Since natural sciences, social sciences and economics have a long and established tradition within the field of data visualization, we believe there is still room to explore new approaches and practices in the realm of visualizing cultural and humanistic data.
What is your favorite piece in the gallery and why?
Although it seems biased, our favorite piece in the gallery is “The Atlas of Kant’s Legacy” by Valerio Pellegrini, a collaborator at our research lab. We chose this piece because it is one of the few attempts to use data visualization as a tool to support philosophical research. The visualization is an excerpt of his master thesis and represents the evolution of Kantian lexicon throughout his philosophical publications. The most interesting part of his work is the design process, an interesting multidisciplinary collaboration between the designer and the scholars involved in the project.
What is one insight you'd like viewers to take away from the gallery?
We hope viewers will enjoy discovering the multiple points of view on cultural data and recognize how these projects function to support academic research.
What is one insight you discovered in making the gallery?
We are constantly surprised by the serendipitous discoveries that occur when viewing these works and how fascinating these discoveries are for both experts and amateurs in the domain.