Digital data is ubiquitous in contemporary culture: it documents environment, health, communication, government, arts, professional and private realms. For designers and practitioners data offers a profound opportunity to investigate, reveal and creatively represent this increasingly significant layer of our society.
This practical course grounds students in data as a key element in contemporary design practice, and in the design and production of data visualisations. Through a series of hands-on exercises students will develop static, dynamic and interactive representations of data for screen-based and tangible forms, and come to understand the functional and poetic dimensions of visualisation as a creative practice. The course introduces students to the cultures and contexts of data visualisation and design, and the analysis and interpretation of visualisations. It also introduces critical perspectives on the questions of representation and interpretation that are central to the field. This course will be of interest to students from a wide range of fields including design, fine arts, digital humanities and information technology, where the visual representation of data offers both immediate challenges and creative opportunities.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Source, manipulate and transform data for applications in visualisation.
- Apply, adapt and extend established data visualisation techniques to produce static, dynamic and interactive visualisations.
- Research and critically analyse data visualisation artefacts and cultures of practice.
- Respond and contribute to the cultural and technological contexts of data and visualisation design.
- Critically reflect on practice and substantiate design outcomes with research and rationale.
Indicative AssessmentVisualisation Techniques: Sketches and Exercises (30%) Learning Outcomes 1, 2
Visualisation Design Project (50%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Research and Rationale, 2000 words (20%) Learning Outcomes 1-5
Assessment includes periodic critique and review sessions that provide formative feedback on work in progress.
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact comprising lectures, tutorials / workshops.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Indicative Reading ListBen Fry, Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment. O’Reilly Media, 2008.
Scott Murray, Interactive Data Visualization for the Web. O’Reilly Media, 2013.
Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. 2nd Ed. Graphics Press, 2008.
Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher. Beautiful Data: The Stories Behind Elegant Data Solutions. O’Reilly Media, 2009.
Assumed KnowledgeFamiliarity with basic computer programming techniques for graphics and design.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Band 1
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.