Interview with Paolo Ciuccarelli from DensityDesign
How did DensityDesign come about?
DensityDesign was born in 2004 as a design studio course at the Faculty of Design, Politecnico di Milano. Nowadays, DensityDesign is a research lab in the Design Department (INDACO) of the Politecnico di Milano. It focuses on the visual representation of complex social, organizational and urban phenomena. We do research with companies, public and private organizations and other research groups.
How important are infographics?
I see data and information visualization, which infographics are a subset, as a growing phenomena - the more data that is available and open, the more people need a way to access and make sense of it. Availability doesn’t necessarily mean accessibility but infographics have the power to explain or in some cases to motivate people to go through the data.
Do you think infographics make information easier to digest?
Sometimes yes, it really depends on the way they are designed. It’s easy to make mistakes, to produce a misleading visualization, to lie, and not all the infographics are easy to digest. But this is not necessarily bad - we think that the primary goal is to communicate the very nature of the observed phenomenon, and often - especially in the case of social phenomena - it’s a complex one.
Do you think infographics should be used more often in the academic world?
In terms of education, I think that in Italy, and generally in Europe, there’s a lack of education in this area, especially for students in Communication Design degrees. It’s a gap that we’re trying to fill here at the Politecnico di Milano. We’re also trying to bring our competences into other fields of education, for example, journalism.
Do you collaborate with any other organisations?
Most of the projects we’re working on cannot be done by a team of designers alone. In general the domain of visualization, in my perspective, is necessarily a multidisciplinary one. We usually work with people from statistics and computer science, semiotics, sociology and their respective research organizations, mostly public and private research centres based in other universities or schools.
For example, we’re currently working with a NGO in the US for our Dust project.
Posted by Emine