Visualization and immersive media in science communication

The division of Linköping University where I work has a strong focus on visualization for science communication. Among other things, we are involved in Visualiseringscenter C, a public science center located on campus with a 100-seat fulldome, a 360-degree meeting room display, flexible exhibition spaces and more.

In the fall semester of 2021, my colleague Ingrid Hotz and I organized a PhD course where the idea was to bring visual communication design and visual storytelling in contact with the state-of-the-art immersive visualization environments at the science center. Participants came from visualization technology, visual art and design, and sciences needing/using visualization to communicate. A major part of the course was mixed-group projects to design science communication concepts for the visualization environments in the science center. (The course syllabus is available here.)

The course ended with an inspiration-day event featuring two invited keynote speakers, three presentations of concept design projects by the course participants, and a panel discussion. Here is the video documentation of that event.

Keynote (53 min)
Communicating for change: Providing scientific information about a house that is on fire

Cornelia Auer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, talks about how we could help people access and understand climate science, and even gain some hope for the future.

Project presentation (31 min)
Seasons of climate change

Elias Elmquist, Yin He and Emma Nilsson worked on introducing forecasts from the latest IPCC report to the general public and local decision makers. The concept is designed for the 360-degree display.

Project presentation (29 min)
Effects of the rings: A story of choice

Hana Pokojna, Farhan Rasheed, Robin Skånberg and Yuxuan Zhuang focused on how to inform adolescents about three drugs with similar molecular structures, how they affect the body, the brain and society. The concept is designed for a small auditorium with a wide display.

Project presentation (27 min)
About time: Let’s become agents of change

Abigail Galea, Magdalena Kersting, Maximiliane Nirschl, Signe Sidwall Thygesen and Jörgen Stenlund present a multimodal exhibition concept using water as a metaphor for time and change, focusing on young people’s capacity to act as agents of change. The concept is designed for the science center exhibition space and the fulldome.

Keynote (64 min)
How to tell a story to the eye: Design of data graphics

Martin Krzywinski from the Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver introduces visual storytelling principles to communicate science effectively.

Closing panel (24 min)
Visualization in science communication

Cornelia Auer, Elias Elmquist, Martin Krzywinski, Hana Pokojna, Signe Sidwall Thygesen, Robin Skånberg and Jörgen Stenlund talk about their experiences and insights.

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Interaction designer, teacher and researcher. Works at Linköping University, Sweden.

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Jonas Löwgren

Jonas Löwgren

Interaction designer, teacher and researcher. Works at Linköping University, Sweden.

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