Status: 04/14/2023 5:04 PM
The Muthesius Academy of Art in Kiel presents a decade of successful science communication, which after all won a German design prize, is presented in a retrospective.
Those were the days when a cardholder would zip through class and someone in the front row would pull the reel hard. Today Suzanne Landis is standing in front of a painting. On a window-sized screen, she can drag anything big and small back and forth, and put her fingers into either a Kattegat or a Skagerrak. This is how everything on the Norwegian coast can be explored.
The marine biologist thinks it’s fun: “Students at marine biology visitor centers have actually been taken all over Europe. They have to learn about the impact of humans on three different mammals that live in the sea.” We are talking about sperm whales, porpoises and seals. We could also talk about wind turbines in the North Atlantic, shipping routes highlighted in red and their impact on coastal areas – all information that can be called up at the push of a button.
European data combined on one map
Now Susan Landis is in her early forties. And she knows how it still sounds so often in class today: “You always have only one map with one factor, for example a map of my area, which only contains fishing. But I don’t have a statement about the impact of farming, for example.” All of this is now properly grouped for the first time: Europe or Northern Europe data combined on one map.
All this should remind the digitally savvy offspring of computer games or game consoles. The interactive aspect is simply attractive, says the young woman: “Especially this exhibition aimed at children and young people, it has to be visually appealing: I really want to reach out and touch it. I want to look at it. I want to zoom in because I want to learn something. These two The two things we’re trying to combine.”
Always up to date
This digital tool has another advantage: it is always up to date. Suzanne Landis works at the Laboratory for Scientific Communication, a branch of the Mutesius Academy of Arts in Kiel. For ten years, media designers have been looking for visual representation and interactive communication of scientific content – including Tom Schauer, Professor of Interactive Media.
He stands in front of a screen with the so-called black smokers. “This is for marine microbiology,” he explains. “Of course, this in itself is a much more specific topic than what we just saw. In fact, scientists are already slated to use this poster to present their research.”
Clearly arranged by different magnification levels
It is easy to imagine how, for example, the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research in Kiel will hold an international conference, perhaps on the topic “Utilization of the sea floor”, and these small holes rich in minerals on the sea floor will play a role.
“The special thing about this poster is that we offer different zoom levels. If you click here, you can see the black smoker in the long shot,” Shows Shower. “If you zoom in there, I get to the organisms that are in the black smokers, where you wonder how they could exist in depth. And if you zoom in, you get to the chemical plot.”
Make knowledge visible
All this is done quickly and easily understandable, even for laymen. But behind this there is a long and balanced collaboration with scientists. Tom Duscher explains that it just takes time to reconcile all the different images in your head. “We’re trying to get that idea out of scientists’ minds, into these interactive applications, and make scientific knowledge visible — making the invisible visible, as we often say.”
Now the media designer from Kiel also knows that the most modern applications can sometimes leave a person behind: in this case, people who are strangers to the digital world. This is why they will especially rely on intuition – as with the strong poster in DESY’s adjoining research – on expressive images. “We are all eyes animals! We want to see or understand everything that seems interesting to us. We play with this trigger.”
“Visualize Science”: a scientific interactive
Muthesius University of Art and Design in Kiel presents a ten-year successful science communication retrospective.
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