Following the success of Information+ 2016 in Vancouver, Canada, the second edition of the biennial conference took place 19–21 October 2018 at the Potsdam University of Applied Sciences and was co-organized by the UCLAB. The conference series brings together researchers and practitioners in information design and visualization to discuss common questions and challenges in these rapidly changing fields. Unlike discipline-specific gatherings, Information+ seeks to foster productive exchanges amongst the variety of people involved in the theories, practices, and pedagogies of analyzing and communicating information.
Information+ 2018 included four events: a workshop day, a two-day conference, a dedicated dinner event to promote the exchange between the participants, and an exhibition of historic information design. The two-day, single-track conference included 4 keynotes, 20 paper presentations, and 9 lightning talks with acceptance rates of 20% and 19% respectively. A distinguished interdisciplinary Program Committee of 52 members from 12 countries ensured the quality and substance of the conference. Each submitted abstract was reviewed by three independent members of the program committee. To increase participation in the event by underrepresented or historically marginalized groups, the conference offered 10 need-based diversity scholarships, which were selected by the Information+ 2018 Diversity Scholarship Committee. There was a considerable diversity among speakers, in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and discipline. From both academia and industry, the speakers originated from 11 countries, 54% of whom are women.
The conference program was framed by keynotes given by Sandra Rendgen (independent art historian and author), Romi Ron Morrison (University of Southern California), Fernanda Viégas & Martin Wattenberg (Google PAIR) and Reuben Fischer-Baum & Chiqui Esteban (The Washington Post). The workshops at Information+ offered a hands-on, conversational, and empowering opportunity to acquire new skills, engage in vibrant discussions, and warm up to the conference. Participants were invited to engage in hands-on and critical workshops, focus on data preparation or data traces, tell engaging stories with data, go on data walks through Potsdam or dive into digitized cultural collections. The exhibition “Image Factories. Infographics 1920-1945,” in collaboration with the German Museum of Books and Writing of the German National Library opened at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam during Information+ 2018. It presented the works of Otto and Marie Neurath and Fritz Kahn as historic predecessors of information visualization. It focused on a historical period of visualization, the early 20th century, which was already characterized by information overload. Finally, another addition to the conference experience was the dialog dinner on Saturday night, which brought conference attendees closer together over great data-driven food in a casual atmosphere to discuss questions related to the community, craft, and the future of information design and visualization.
Knowledge generated during the events has been shared via a series of printed and online outcomes. Oral presentations are publicly available online as videos and a selection of papers appeared in the international and peer-reviewed Special issue of Information Design Journal 25:1 (2019) (John Benjamins). The conference website provides a detailed overview of the program including abstracts and photo documentation. Tweets about Information+ 2018 where shared under the hashtag #infoplus2018.
Further local team members
Carolin Achtermann, Daniel Boubet, Jens Ove Drößiger, Constanze Flamme, Roane Knowles-Rapson, Julia Kontor, Michael Dustin Kummer, Bela Kurek, Nikolas Ripka, William Heiko Schmidt, Fabian Schrader, Hannah Schwan, Stefanie Semm, Feline Wigman and Julian Lucas Wohlleber.