8: Data Visualisation Case


*Speaker and Designer: Nathalie Miebach


  • Alma grams of systems inherently invisible to most
  • Sculpture and music to make it visible, tactile and audible


  1. Information is extracted with low tech data collecting devices
  2. Compare information with those on the internet
    • E.g. satellite images, weather data and offshore buoys
  3. Compare numbers on the clipboards
  4. Starts with 2-3 variables to help with translation process
  5. Translation medium = basket made with horizontal and vertical elements. Can assign values and use change of data points over time to create form
    • Natural Reeds: The reeds controls the form, not the creator
  • The process reveals behavioural relationships that may not be obvious in a 2D graph
  • The sculptures are made of umbers
  • Shows elements such as:
    • High tide
    • Water Temperature
    • 24 hour timeline (Temperature ranges between 20-75º F)
    • Air Temperature
    • Moon phase
  • This is then translated to musical scores (Then performed by musicians)
  • Challenges visual language of science vs. art vs. music and changes the meaning of the design. For e.g.:
    • Art gallery = artwork
    • Science museum = 3D visualisation of data
    • Musical = Musical score
  • Offers an alternative entry point in the complexity of science

Changing Waters (N. Miebach, 2017)
Data Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) 


From this lecture pod, it explores the similarities of what is thought of fairly different fields; science, art and music. It further challenges the notions of what are explored in these fields as the design itself is unconventional but still successfully displays appropriate data that is relevant in all three fields.

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