What happens when we adopt visual metaphors, instead of relying on the more traditional  chart based visualization?

Images and pictures grab our attention and affect us emotionally in ways that text alone usually cannot. Visual metaphors, in particular, because they put context into information, can sustain a faster as well as a far more rich processing of data: one that is capable of evoking related ideas and stories, of appealing us at both the conscious and subconscious levels, at the perceptual, cognitive and reflective levels, and of eventually captivating our mind.

So what happens when, in displaying data, facts and figures, we adopt visual metaphors, instead of relying on the more traditional text -and chart- based presentation strategies?
In this workshop we will explore and push the boundaries between data visualization and visual storytelling, to create micro data based stories ready to explode in the audience’s eyes and mind.

The workshop held by Matteo Moretti and Domestic Data Streamers at the Elisava in Barcellona took three intense days where students experience the basic of data visualization in a playful way, collecting data, finding stories and visualizing them, using metaphorical objects to strengthen the context and the story itself.

The workshop has been based on three objectives:

  • learn the basics of data visualizations
  • understand the power of metaphors in a data storytelling process
  • experienceand deal with the team work

Plus a meta-objectives, visualize the workshop itself. We planned an emotional and knowledge tracking strategy to gather data about the students, their perception about the ongoing work, and how their knowledge on the topic is evolved.