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Dietmar Offenhuber presents at IEEE VIS 2019. Photo courtesy of IEEE VIS 2019.

Northeastern’s Information Design and Visualization (IDV) program had a strong presence at the recent IEEE VIS 2019, a conference that brings together an international community of visualization researchers, designers, and media artists to explore topics in data visualization – with the main goal of fostering new thinking, discussion, and collaboration between various fields. These researchers and practitioners come from universities, government, and industry to exchange recent findings on the design and use of visualization tools. The conference showcases innovative artwork and research that explores the exciting and increasingly prominent intersections between art, design, data, the sciences, and more. The theme of this year’s event, which took place from October 21 – 25, 2019 in Vancouver, BC, Canada, was Beyond Borders.

CAMD Professor Dietmar Offenhuber, Art + Design, presented his work at IEEE VIS 2019, which is considered the top conference in the visualization field. His full paper, Data by Proxy – Material Traces as Autographic Visualizations, was presented in the opening session of the conference called Provocations. It proposed a counter-model to data visualization that emphasizes the material nature of data. The paper compares physical traces to visualizations and describes the techniques and visual practices for producing, revealing, and interpreting them. Read more here. Getting a full paper accepted to this conference is competitive and remarkable; congratulations and well done, Professor Offenhuber!

He also gave a talk in the conference’s art program (VISAP’19), which further expanded on this framework of “autographic visualization” through two of his related art projects: Dustmarks and Ozone Tattoos: Autographic Displays of Air Pollution.

The work highlights two examples of autographic visualizations that aim to make environmental pollution visible and legible. Using particulate matter and ground-level ozone pollution as case studies, the pictorial illustrates the design principles of creating autographic visualizations that make phenomena reveal themselves. Both of these projects have been featured in News@Northeastern, Northeastern University’s official news source: Dustmark and Ozone Tattoo.

Northeastern’s College of Arts, Media and Design also had a booth at the event, where Professors Pedro Cruz and Paolo Ciuccarelli were representing the graduate degree offerings in IDV. They had the opportunity to showcase student and faculty work and highlight various applications of the degrees.