The graduate interaction design curriculum is organized into four themes — Behavior, Business, Experience, and Systems — and each semester students take courses within each. The lines are blurry (e.g., is a course on “Prototyping User Experiences” part of Behavior or Experience?), yet it’s been a useful way to frame conversations.
In the Systems theme is “Information Visualization;” the objectives include teaching students concepts and methods to find stories in data. Steve Duenes, graphic director at The New York Times, led the course in spring 2010:
Students were asked to visualize a section within the permanent collection at MoMA or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Or, they may visualize a single sporting event or season. The project must include substantial quantitative data, a main visualization, supporting figures and a plan for interactivity.
Following an impressive showing at the Visualizing Marathon earlier this month, MFA Interaction Design students Clint Beharry, Sarah Koo, Gene Lu, Tina Ye, and Yang Yang of Stickybits have won the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils data visualisation challenge with their entry Catalyzing the Global Dialogue. In response to increasingly complex and interconnected issues of modern 21st century, their visualization seeks to elucidate a systemic view of both the Summit and its councils.
Delighted that Nicholas Felton will lead the course this spring, exploring the communication and narrative potential of information visualizations. Report to follow.