The course emphasized the political role of communication design, a role that Neurath described as «to humanize and democratize the world of knowledge and of intellectual activity». This is an up-to-date role, more than ever in our information and knowledge society: it’s a role which is now being challenged by the opportunities offered by new technologies in a moment in which public institutions and governments are opening the access to relevant data.

During the course, by discussing on different case studies, we dealt with the disciplines connected to data, information and knowledge visualization (from Information Design and Knowledge Visualization to Information Aesthetics). We deepened in the way information and knowledge are produced and shared, in order to understand how could design make them accessible both to a wider audience or to more experienced policy makers.
The course had theoretical contributions and external accounts side by side. Students were asked to validate some of the notions proposed in the theoretical lessons through tests: some of the results were submitted to public discussion coordinated by professional visiting guests.

Short Bibliography

Anceschi G. (1992). L’oggetto della raffigurazione. Milano: Etaslibri.
Botta M. (2006). Design dell’Informazione. Trento: Valentina Trentini editore.
Danziger M. (2008). Information visualization for the people. Tesi di Laurea. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Comparative Media Studies.
Emerson J. (2008), Visualizing Information for Advocacy. An Introduction to Information Design. Tactical Technology Collective.
Jacobson R. (2000). Information Design. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Lakoff G., Johnson M. (1998). Elementi di Linguistica Cognitiva, QuattroVenti.
Schuller G. (2008). Designing Universal Knowledge: The World as Flatland – Report 1. Baden: Lars Muller Publishers.
Tergan S. e Keller T. (2005). Knowledge and information visualization: searching for synergies. New York : Springer.
Tufte E. R. (2001). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (2nd ed.). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Tufte E. R. (1990). Envisioning Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
Tufte E. R. (1997). Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.