Data Sculptures as Translational Acts

Data visualization is a great tool to promote transparency and to render simulations of climate change. Moving beyond the limitations of two-dimensional data representation, this workshop will explore the intricacies of climate justice with physical data sculptures.

Low-tech and low-barrier, data sculptures can communicate powerful and meaningful messages using simple materials and scale translations. They cut technical burdens, open up an expanded creative scope and thus shift the focus to actual design.


Morning session (10.00–12.00): introductions & tools, input & inspiration
Lunch break (12.00–13.00)
Afternoon session (13:00–17:00): design & conception, review & feedback

The workshop will start with theoretical input on climate justice research and activism from a guest expert. In the morning sessions, we will study influential data sculptures from different contexts and discuss our own practices. We will provide simple tools to convert data into practical measurements. By the end of the course, we will assess the potential and limitations of data sculptures as a democratic tool to communicate data.
The afternoon sessions focus on conceptualizing, designing, and presenting data sculptures. To widen our pool of visualization strategies we will kick off each session with a draft of a sculpture. Throughout the week, we will explore specific aspects of the design process such as clarifying the communication goals of the work, defining materiality and the impact on associated senses, relating to space and context, composing visual framing, and storytelling. At the end of each afternoon, we will have time for a focused review and feedback session.
The workshop will conclude with documentation of the final pieces and a public presentation with our guest expert.

By the end of the course students should have:
• An understanding of the unique challenges in visualizing climate change versus communicating climate justice
• An extended toolbox to critically analyze infographics across all platforms
• Knowledge of data sculpture practices from various contexts
• Confidence in choosing effective visualization strategies for complex topics at a human scale
• Ability to use data sculptures as a democratic tool to represent data accessibly, without technical burdens

• Interest in working with data
• Desirable to have a practice or project idea related to the topic of climate justice
• Useful to bring a laptop to use the browser-based data conversion tools we provide

Felix Buchholz
Born in Heilbronn. Studied in philosophy and law at The Free University of Berlin and Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg. Training as a media designer in Heidelberg and Hannover. Diploma in media art from Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. MSc in data visualization from Parsons School of Design, New York. Since 2019 working as freelance data visualization expert and developer with NGOs and researchers on  issues and solutions related to transparency in the financial sector, refugee rights, material inequality and redistribution.





Robin Coenen
born in bonn. studies at the fh aachen and zurich university of the arts (bachelor of arts) and parsons new school for design (master of science). from 2015-2018 in paris, responsible for the digital media department at the atelier integral ruedi baur. in berlin since 2018, working as a visual expert at the interface between design and new media (among others at the think tank »innovation center for mobility and social change« and  the laboratory TU Berlin based institute for knowledge mobilization »labor k«). between 2017-2021 various teaching positions at the fh aachen. since autumn 2021, teaching and researching associate at the class for information design, university of arts berlin (udk), besides that founding partner at the informationdesign studio »visual intelligence« with clients from science, culture and activism.


Run period:
07.08.2023 – 12.08.2023
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 660

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

For further information please contact: