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Status Growth

In an environment mainly consisting of hierarchically organised companies some alternative ways of organising way show up: cooperatives. What defines their way of growing? What is their influence on traditionally organised companies? How do they affect not only working environment but also our way of thinking?


In the course „Organigrams for / from the future“ we learned about alternative working structures expressed in the form of cooperatives contrasting to traditional, hierarchical companies.

In the nomadic course concept we visited multiple hosts in Berlin and Potsdam that are structured cooperatively and additionally read papers about the topic to collect our own insights in this domain.

After getting into the topic we were allowed to choose a topic in the course context that our final data visualisation project would cover. In my case, I chose the subject of cooperative growth and its influence on traditionally organised as well as our overall way of thinking.


After gaining insights while visiting the hosts and reading the papers, I started to process my key facts on the topic of cooperative growth visually to gain an overview about what content I wanted to transfer with my final result.



Arborescent vs. rhizome structure

During my research I stumbled across the difference of arborescent and rhizome thinking. While having a closer look at it I identified a somewhat connection between the topic of cooperative growth and rhizome growing or rather the growing of traditional companies and arborescent growth. Diving deeper into the topic I decided that this analogy is not only the source of inspiration for the content of my visualisation but also the foundation of my visual metaphor.

„We‘re tired of trees. We should stop believing in trees, roots and radicals. They‘ve made us suffer too much. All of arborescent culture is founded on them, from biology to linguistics.“

- Deleuze und Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus


Visual encoding

To gain more inspiration after I chose my visual syntax I collected further examples on data visualisation that would cover a similar visual encoding to the one I chose.


Final visualisation

Status growth

The extension of alternative working structures and its influence on our way of thinking

In a work environment majorily defined by traditional companies organised in hierarchical ways cooperatives emerge as alternative working structure. Due to their individual characteristics their growth process is as unique as every organisation that follows these structures. The evolving of these new forms of work not only affects our current working environment, but also shapes our way of thinking on different levels with collective values and principles such as responsibility and autonomy, ownership, equity as well as democracy.

Digital result: Interactive prototype

As main result I decided to do an interactive data visualisation allowing a playful approach to this topic.


Analog result: Poster

Additionally to the digital version I designed a huge poster in the size of 49cm x 180cm to convey the insights I gained during the course.



The nomadic course concept allowed us to visit multiple cooperatives making it possible to collect our own research data on real world examples.

Special thanks goes to all the hosts taking the time to answer our questions:

  • SmartDe eG
  • Regionalwert AG Berlin-Brandenburg
  • Backstube Vollkornbäckerei
  • gruppe F Berlin
  • Regenbogenfabrik e.V.
  • SuperCoop Berlin
  • WeiberWirtschaft eG
  • Madia Potsdam

As another research source served a selection of scientific papers read in the course listed below:

  • Raworth, K. (2012). A safe and just space for humanity. Oxfam Discussion Paper.
  • Fairbairn, B. et al. (1994). The meaning of Rochdale: The Rochdale Pioneers and the co-operative principles. Technical report, University of Saskatchewan, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.

  • Ostrom, E., Burger, J., Field, C. B., Norgaard, R. B., and Policansky, D. (1999). Revisiting the commons: local lessons, global challenges. science, 284(5412):278–282.


After finishing my colloquium last semester, I was advised to dive deeper into the topic of data visualisation. Following this proposal, I chose the course by Prof. Marian Dörk , ready to gain my first experiences in this subject.

I must honestly admit that I did not know what I would be confronted with in the beginning of the course. Lacking major knowledge in the topic of data visualisation I was quite nervous about the course and its task. Additionally the course would only take place in English – a fact that would not calm down my nervousness.

But after the first sessions I got into using the English language again and I really enjoyed the nomadic course concept. It did not only make us enjoy summer outside and discover new places in Berlin and Potsdam, but also allowed us to really gather our own insights. In contrast to other, this course was not only about the visualisation part but also about gathering and structuring your own insights. 

While doing a real deep dive into the topic of cooperatives, the course „InfoVis Reading Group“ did at the same time nourished me with facts about DataVis. These additional information helped me to understand the more scientific side of design and I quickly identified with it.

In general, I can say that I really found a topic that I can imagine as another focus during my design studies. The atmosphere during the course was really supportive and I enjoyed the complexity of the subject and the challenge to visualise it. Finding new ways of visual encodings and not only relying on existing patterns or design guidelines was an objection I really liked about data visualisation. In general I really hope to realise the project as an interactive web version in future.

Even though the projects were always discussed in a hurry due to the visits at the cooperatives and the information overload at some visits I can say that this will probably not the last time I got in touch with the topic of DataVis during my design studies.

Ein Projekt von



Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im zweiten Studienabschnitt


foto: Prof. Myriel Milicevic foto: Prof. Dr. Marian Dörk

Zugehöriger Workspace

Organigrams for/from the future


Sommersemester 2023