Critical Data Studies

introductory course (1/5)

Why am I teaching you?

Course Topic

Why Data?

Digital Revolution

Computer, internet & mobile phone

Data is literally everywhere

Course Take-Away


Develop a critical approach to data in three major areas

data access and acquisition, privacy

information politics and objectivity of data

data-driven storytelling


Get familiar with data-driven projects


data formats and structures

data acquisition and processing


An attempt to combine theory with practice

Course Organization

To pass the course, you need to:

1. have at least 80% attendance

2. make your own project

3. read at least 3 papers

4. get involved in discussions

Content structure:


case studies

close reading



Today's Schedule

Go to Classroom

What’s the future of graphic design?


Data-driven project

”Katowice – a city with no history, not even one castle exists and has never been there. The nearest castles are in Sosnowiec or Będzin.”

Common historical narratives

Data storytelling

Confronting stereotypes with data

From failure to engagement

MapLab Group & architecture mapathons

City's history in 15 minutes

Medialab Workgroup


Katowice's unique visual language

Pischinger Font

4 layers of Katowice's typographic history

Audience research

The biggest problem of this project?

lack of documentation

Newslogging – your first data-driven project

Initial idea: Data Walking

Lifelogging / inspirations

Newslogging – how to create a data set?

What is news?

What is your information diet?

Go to Classroom

Two approaches to data-driven projects

Starting with a topic or a problem

Exploring an existing data set

Exploration vs explanation



professionalsbroader audience
data interfacevisual story
rough layoutmeticulous design
complex layoutstructured narrative
expert userrandom viewer

Next week

Manovich: database vs narrative

Newslogging: data preprocessing

Thank you!