Berlin, Germany

Data Sculptures as Translational Acts

when 7 August 2023 - 12 August 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1 EC
fee EUR 660

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.

Course leader

Felix Buchholz (

Target group

• 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

Course aim

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

Fee info

EUR 660: course fee