Lecture: Absence, Emptiness & Invisibility, The Design of Nothing

20 June @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA

conference audience

How can we visualise the complex and abstract ideas that emerge from our data-rich world? In this talk Andy Kirk, Data Visualisation Specialist, will ask us to think about communicating ‘nothingness’, using this example to explore some of the key considerations data visualisers face. He will illustrate possible answers using some of the most enduring, classic and contemporary examples.

Andy will look at this fascinating topic from three perspectives relating to ‘nothingness’: absence, emptiness and invisibility. Firstly, he will look at the nuances of representing null and zero, comparing the challenges of visualising the absence of a data value with the presence of a zero data value. Secondly, he will explore the often-neglected power of emptiness in making a visible design choice seemingly invisible, showing that blank space is a vital design component, needing not just judgement but courage.

Finally, he will tackle what we can learn from the ‘invisible’: What does it mean to not see things? What can we learn about what is not included? How does what is NOT included shape what IS?

Taking part is free, but capacity is limited so please register to ensure your place.