The Rise of Information Visualization in Architecture

I just couldn’t resist! I had to try out Wordle — a new site where one can create their own word clouds based on inputted data. In fact, I created a Sensing Architecture Wordle word cloud (as you can see in the image found within this post). Wordle presents just one form of information visualization; however, new ways of seeing information are beginning to surface all over – and they are making sense of greater and greater complexity.

Places like Visual Complexity.com host a wide variety of examples where information has been simplified in visual form. Visit this site — it is quite interesting to see the wide variety of different information types that have been made visual. They have examples ranging from particle systems to music tracks … You should check it out!

Such information visualizations will appear in many places as their simplicity will be quite valued. Look for their emergence within buildings as designers will be better able to optimize their architecture for occupant use. By embedding methods of information visualization, building occupants will gain even more control as they carry out functions within given spaces.

Buildings with information visualization stitched into their fabric can help occupants lead more aware lives. Just imagine being able to keep up with the fast pace that new technology brings – in more simplified and productive ways. For example, wouldn’t it be nice if hospitals could visually show doctors and nurses dynamic and real-time visual information regarding the status of their patients? Hospitals would become more efficient and safer as information is presented in a way that makes sense and is clear to understand and act upon.

Architecture has not yet begun to feel the full effects of information visualization. As more and more data enters the way space is designed and lived in – you can be sure that new techniques will arise to help sort through that data and make sense of the results. Yes, large data quantities give way to the complex; but design will ultimately clear the path for its beautiful simplification.

‍Image: Sensing Architecture from Wordle

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