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When design serves information

When design serves information

The Information Design program (part of the Digital Culture MDes) is structured around research sub-themes which aim to combine presentation of information with design of innovative services.

Matthias Rischewski is Head of the Information Design research group. He graduated from Hochschule für Gestaltung (Schwäbisch Gmünd) in 1996 and after diverse experiences in large media and communication groups, he started teaching graphic design at L’École de design in 2002. Specializing in graphics in cultural and institutional sectors in  "Les Deisgners Graphiques" studio (which he co-founded in 2006), he continues to teach graphics and typography at L’École de design and is involved in prospective projects with public and private partners.

The evolution in the quantity and diversity of information available, especially since the advent of Web 2.0, implies the necessity for methods and tools to facilitate further evolution in the information technology environment. The goal of information design is to study graphic representations, statistics and dynamics in order to better comprehend and interpret often imperceptible complex phenomena. Evolution in digital technologies makes it possible to integrate information design with raw data shaped by means of interactive applications and adapted for use in a wide range of contexts.

International civil flights visualization - Lucas Briceno, Bao-Anh Bui et Brendan Gérard

The MDes Information Design program is based on 3 complementary research sub-themes:

- Semiotic approach
What type of graphic representations for what data?
The aim is to design new graphic forms (both static and dynamic) for representing data, large volumes of data or other indicators in order to make them accessible, comprehensible and easy to interpret. Students also learn about the different approaches used in the field of graphic semiology, from Jacques Bertin to the most recent interactive technologies.

- Modalities of Interaction approach (HMI)
The proliferation of sources and modalities of interaction (gestural, natural, etc.) means that it is now possible to give the user a veritable "experience" in the exploration and navigation of this data. This experience is based on the "information cycle", in other words the search for information, its presentation and the production of information.

- Service design approach: data-inspired services
The mass of data stored today on the servers that host the most popular Web 2.0 platforms forces us to reflect upon all of our digital "acts" and on the relationship that we have with our private and public data... This information heritage serves as raw material for designing new services which are more closely matched to user needs. From "quantified-self" to "data-inspired services", we are contributing to research into ascending innovation methods.

Like the other Master’s programs in Digital Culture/READi, Information Design includes a module dedicated to learning methods of managing innovative projects through design. It is characterized by a series of workshops on prospective projects specific to information visualization and innovative service design. One of the first workshops will be devoted to an introduction to analyzing data and data-journalism, run by Fabien Poulard and Thibaut Schepman. The aim will be to produce interactive graphic representations illustrating an article such as "Is your city inegalitarian?” or "Who’s buying Africa?".

Who’s buying Africa?

In addition, the focus will be on acquiring methods and tools to develop services (through design), for although graphic semiology plays a prominent role in this course, it is vital that students acquire the methods and tools specific to the design of these services: Journey Map, Blue Print, Personae, etc.

The course is also backed by the agency Capa and offers students the chance to follow a double-degree course in partnership with the University of Laval (Faculty of Planning, Architecture, Art and Design), in Quebec.

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