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Visualizing Cultural Collections


Thursday 9:00am–13:30pm, Start: 09 Apr 2020 (Online/Incom)

For cultural institutions, such as museums, libraries or archives, it has become an inevitable but also greatly beneficial task to present their collections on the Web. Digitization promises unprecedented levels of access to cultural artifacts and exciting opportunities for interface design and information visualization. Nevertheless, there is still a lack of innovative approaches that move away from grids and compressed images towards generous interfaces which make the artifacts and artworks available for free exploration. How can we design interfaces for cultural collections that aim at both researchers and a broad public? How can we find visual representations that convey the abundance of the collection, but also the individuality of the artifacts? How do we deal with questions of representation in light of postcolonialism and critical design?

In this project course we will approach these questions in interdisciplinary teams. Advanced students of interface design, cultural management, and media studies will work together to explore and critically examine visualizations of cultural collections. In collaboration with cultural institutions, students will form small project teams and carry out hands-on research, from analyzing opportunities and possibilities to offline and online prototyping. The aim is to create visualizations that open novel perspectives on and interesting insights into the collections. As part of this process, we consider the visualizations to be cultural artifacts themselves that need to be interpreted and questioned, too.

Participants should have a solid understanding and practical experience with either information visualization or cultural collections – and an interest in the respective other. In interdisciplinary groups, participants will develop research projects and pursue their own questions. The results of the course will be presented at the end to the partners and documented in the form of a paper and a demo on the web.

Please note: The main language of teaching for this course is English.



21EId-F Interfacedesign als Designforschung

Europäische Medienwissenschaften

EMW Europäische Medienwissenschaft

Design Master

31LE-S Spezialisierung


21FVId-AM Advanced Media


#Culture + Transformation


Sommersemester 2020


development of a research prototype in collaboration with a collection partner — execution of a co-design workshop — method input in form of a presentation — project presentation — documentation in form of a paper


Donnerstag, 09:00 – 13:30


Schulungsraum der Hochschulbibliothek