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People  •  Center for Design, Art + Design  •  Director, Professor

Paolo Ciuccarelli

Architect and Communication Designer, Paolo Ciuccarelli is Professor of Design at Northeastern after twenty years at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. At Politecnico he coordinated the Communication Design program (BSc and MSc), has been member of the board at the PhD in Design and he founded the DensityDesign Research Lab, an award winning laboratory for data visualization and information design. Paolo’s research focuses on the design transformations that help making sense of data and information to improve decision making processes, especially with non experts stakeholders and for controversial complex social issues where he’s also experimenting on the role of rhetorics and visual poetry for a deeper engagement. He also works in developing tools and methods to understanding the evolution of the design discipline in the frame of a meta-design approach.

Paolo Ciuccarelli is author of best-paper awarded publications, lectured at Royal College of Arts, ENSCI Les Ateliers, Glasgow School of Arts, king’s College and Stanford Humanities Centre and has been invited to talk at conferences such as Eyeo, TEDx, Visualized, NetSci, Congreso Futuro. He has been member of the board of the Master in European Design (


Research/Publications Highlights

  • Co-Editor of »Big Data & Society« journal – SAGE Publications –
  • Research Fellow at ISI Foundation – Institute for Scientific Interchange – to “collaborate on scientific problems that span across disciplines (math, physics, biology, social sciences, humanities) in the pursuit of breaking new grounds at the forefront of complex systems and network science, data and computational science, information technologies, computational epidemiology & public health, and statistical physics” –
  • Leader of the Data Visualization Working Group (WG6) within the COST Action “Reassembling the Republic of Letters” coordinated by Oxford University (
  • Author of the essay “Turning Visualisations into Stories and Big Pictures” in the best seller “Information Graphics” published by Taschen, with Rendgen S., Wiedermann J. editors.


Center for Design, Art + Design


  • M.S., Architecture (5 Years), Politecnico Di Milano


  • DensityDesign Research Lab awarded as “Best Studio” at Kantar Information is Beautiful Award – The lab also got Gold and Bronze medals for single works and portfolios
  • Award and mention at Compasso d’Oro ADI
  • “2016 IEEE Multimedia Best Paper Award” by the IEEE MultiMedia Editorial Board for the paper entitled: “City Sensing: Fusing City Data for Visual Storytelling”
  • Best Paper Award at VizSec 2011 for the publication “BURN: baring unknown rogue networks “

Past Clients

  • European Commission
  • Independent Expert Commission (IEC) of the Swiss Federal Council
  • Office for Naval Research (ONR)
  • Accenture
  • EY
  • ISI Global Fundation
  • Orange
  • World Health Organization
  • Telecom Italia
  • Expo 2015
  • RCS Media Group
  • Il Sole 24 ORE

Research Focus

  • Data Visualization
  • information design
  • Metadesign
  • Digital Methods
  • Public engagement with Science and Technology
  • Design and Complexity

Courses Taught

  • Metadesign for Communication Design (studio)
  • Information Design
  • Data and Information Visualization
  • PhD course “Public Engagement with Science and Technology”