idalab seminar #20: Inventing the future, one visualisation at a time

Data visualisation is a young and buzzing field, or so it seems. Many related projects are focused on mastering new technologies, on navigating the unprecedented wealth of data and on supporting the human-machine-interaction of the future. Interestingly, in most professional debates and talks today, we can detect a near total lack of historical perspective or awareness. While everyone is looking forward, there doesn’t seem to be much use in looking back.

Or is there? The current surge in information visualisation has been going on for about three decades. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have hundreds and thousands of historical examples of information visualisation, showing that the systematic use of infographics dates back as long ago as the European Middle Ages. Why should we study these old masters today? What can we learn from history for inventing the future? 

Thursday, August 15th, 7 pm | doors open at 6.30 pm | Potsdamer Straße 68, 10785 Berlin

You can also find the event on Meetup and join the idalab seminar Meetup-Group.

A video of the talk will be uploaded to Vimeo.

About: For our idalab seminars, we invite scholars, data scientists, business experts and big data thought leaders to discuss their work, gain new perspectives and generate fresh insights. idalab seminars are open to all interested parties.

After the talk, we invite you to stay for drinks. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Sandra Rendgen is an independent author, researcher and concept developer with a focus on data visualisation, interactive media and the history of infographics. She is the author of several books about historical and current developments in the field. As a consultant and visualisation strategist, she supports clients in communicating complex knowledge. “Complex,” as in fuzzy, overwhelming, abstract, multidimensional or just plain complicated.

Feature image: William Playfair, An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. London 1807, Table 1.