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Mapping Cities – Making Cities

nur für Incom-Mitglieder

Cities in Europe are grappling with common challenges: Housing shortage, climate impacts, demographic change, political polarization and social segregation. These issues highlight the need to learn from the diverse experiences across national borders. An increasing availability of urban data opens up vast opportunities for comparative analysis and political solutions. Yet, that potential is rarely used. In close collaboration with data journalists from various European cities, this course explores innovative formats that blend data visualization with interactive storytelling on urban matters. This is highly relevant, particularly in light of several upcoming elections in Germany and Europe, as resilient democracies depend on well-informed citizens.

This course has a dual focus: Firstly, to promote critical thinking about the role of data in shaping our urban lives. Secondly, to enhance practical skills in preparing data, designing visualizations, and developing interactive stories. The lectures review some fundamentals of data visualization and urban transformation. Selected readings will spark discussions about contemporary research on urbanism, visualization, and data analysis – for example: the power of mapping for uncovering social problems. Students will contribute brief method inputs on tools and theories they deem especially useful for their projects. The central question is: How can comparative visualization of urban issues stimulate public discourse and collective action? Students of interface design and urban futures will form interdisciplinary teams to pursue projects at the intersection of data visualization and urban transformation. The course will be conducted concurrently with a course for informatics students at KIT Karlsruhe, with the option to collaborate on joint projects.

The course runs in close collaboration with the Tagesspiegel Innovation Lab and members of the Urban Journalism Network. They will showcase best-practices from visual journalism, give insights into ongoing investigations and provide various datasets as well as feedback on students’ projects. Additional guests showcase new methods of urban analysis via satellite images and research on social polarization and political attitudes.

Please note: The class will be taught in English. All communication during the seminars as well as literature and auxiliary materials will be in English.



21EId-F Interfacedesign als Designforschung

Design Master

31LE-S Spezialisierung


#Society + Public domain, #Mobility + Urbanism


Sommersemester 2024


Montag, 14:00 – 18:30

Erster Termin