Visualizing Ambiguity

Visualizing Ambiguity

The Techno-Anthropology Lab ( and the Public Data Lab ( is organising a three day mini-sprint (workshop) on the topic of data visualisation in ambiguous situations from the 13th to the 15th of December.


13.12.2017 kl. 12.30 - 15.12.2017 kl. 17.00


The cartography of controversies in particular, and the process of democratic inquiry more generally, habitually finds itself faced with the kind of complexity that involves doubt, uncertainty and a multiplicity of actor positions - a kind of complexity where knowledge is never unambiguous and where any claim to the contrary is effectively a partisan move in a debate. The practice of data visualisation, which plays a substantial role in the cartography of controversies and increasingly also when actors more generally engage in matters of public concern, is faced with a particular challenge here. On the one hand, good data design must strive to convey information as clearly as possible. On the other hand, in situations that are inherently ambiguous, good data design must also take it upon itself to ‘slow down reasoning’ (as the Belgian philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers would put it) by promoting doubt and reflection. How do we square these ambitions? And, consequently, what constitutes productive data visualisation in ambiguous situations?

During the workshop, the TANTLab will offer some of their case studies where ambiguity plays a prominent role. We will supply datasets and ask participants to work together on ways of visualising these datasets in so as to promote doubt. We have invited some of the leading specialists in the area to help us out, namely a group of information designers from Density Design in Milan and Mathieu Jacomy from the SciencesPo médialab in Paris. We will present and discuss our results at a public event on the last day of the mini-sprint. The event will be followed by a reception.

We have a limited number of spaces available for participants in the workshop. Please sign up until Friday 8th.

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A.C.Meyers Vænge 15

Registration Deadline

08.12.2017 kl. 18.00

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