[작업] Complexity Maps


i. context


Connecting the visible and the invisible



In the last two decades Information Visualisation has emerged as one of the most important techniques for managing data in our present knowledge society, due to its ability to make the complex – accessible, the invisible – visible, and the intangible – palpable. Traditional forms of mapping and representation of cities seem to be inadequate in representing urban space as a living organism.

The complexity of city flows (both tangibles and intangibles) require subtle tools that can visualise complex phenomena without breaking them up, tools that depict qualities of a system which would otherwise not be perceptible and collective visions capable of defi ning and structuring the spaces where we interact.
In this way, the new language of diagrams and maps can be seen as a liminal interface between knowledge and experience, rather than a mere description of reality. This new language constructs visual models that connect the physical realm of cities and buildings with the invisible world of communication, social  networks and human activity. The potential of this new language is to create a shared visual vocabulary that goes beyond just representing systems but also enables the pinpointing of critical pivot points that allow interventions into the system.

The Complexity maps workshop had three broad aims. First, the development of an appropriate way of gathering local information in a consensual way with local stake holders. Second, to produce visualisations that could create new insights into the local dynamics of the site. Third, the creation of new methodological models for the Information Visualisation discipline as a whole.


Visions through perceptions002(3).jpg

Urban policies involve different administrative bodies which are often not co-ordinated and deal with a wide remit from environmental policy to infrastructure, from social integration to public security. The institutional role of the Urban Center Metropolitano of Turin, is to ease the interaction and the decision making process between these different city administration entities, through building scenarios of the future transformation of Turin. The Urban Center were designated as the workshop local client for this project and suggested the target site, Stura Park, in the northern periphery of Turin as one of the last large empty sites in Turin and a location where they predict intense future change (fi g. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). In collaboration with the local government they had been creating strategic plans for Stura Park which included a Golf Course and the building of two nearby Metro stops (fi g. 7). Despite these plans, the Urban Centre had little local knowledge of the site and no contact with local people or organisations. In addition, the Urban Centre had some doubts about the proposal of a Golf Course and wished to gain a much better understanding of local opinions and interactions of local actors.
The aim of the workshop was to identify people’s thoughts, issues and desires and to see how visualisation could be integrated in political and cultural process, providing new elements for a strategic vision of the future transformations of the target area.



Project brief
1. Represent local people’s perception;
2. Create a tool for discussing future change;
3. Develop a methodological critique of the Urban Centre’s current approaches to local sites.
Stura Park is an unmanaged and overgrown postindustrial wasteland bounded by the bank of the river Stura on one side and conduit roads that lead towards the centre of Turin in one direction and Milan in the other (fi g. 8).
What few people seemed to know or acknowledge before proposing this target site for the project, was that the Stura Park is considered by researchers to be the biggest heroin distribution ‘centre’ in Europe.



iii. process

Design Ethnography + Analytical Urbanism & Information Design

The conceptual approach of this workshop used Actor-Network Theory as articulated by John Law and Bruno Latour, translated into a practical form.
The method tried to analyse the project area as a complex entity constituted by the relationship between people (a range of competing actors with different interests), material (places, objects and fl ows) and semiotic entities (ideas and concepts). By seeking connections, analysing relations and describing the systems, the students perceived the area as an intertwined network and assumed to collect the points of view of many actors particularly and citizens.

The students worked in small groups on five topics, strongly linked with the other Summer School workshops design themes, trying to answer and questioning
to the following issues:
_Mobility – Where do people want to get to and how do we get there?
                How is mobility affecting the local sense of place and quality of life?
_History and Future – What is this place? What are the current ideas about the history and future of this place?
                                What do local people think will happen?
_People – Who lives there and where and why do they meet?
                Who are the different groups of people who use and/or own this place?
_Security and Insecurity – What does security or insecurity means in the local context?
                                       What are the local fears and dangers?
_Environment – How are the local people engaged with their surroundings?
                       What effect does the environment have?

The week long workshop was split into two phases. In the fi rst part, local people were interviewed and data collected on the project site in Turin, while the
second part was focused on synthesizing, analysing and visualising the information collected (fi g. 9).


Design Ethnography:
looking as an outsider, thinking as an insider
The fi rst three days were spent interviewing more than 100 local people, considering them as experts on the local context. A large number and variety of stakeholders were interviewed (local government, environmental agency, area planners, local shopkeepers, residents, gardeners, drug addicts) (fi g. 10, 11, 12): but students were well-aware that quality shall be preferred over quantity. Moreover, the students refl ected on their own thoughts and perceptions since they, as outsiders, could perceive the area as a “whole”.
In addition tests of soil and water quality were taken from the target area since there were some concerns about possible environmental pollution.


Analytical Urbanism and Information Design:
looking for patterns to narrate a meaningful story
The second phase started with the analysis of the huge amount of data collected (fi g. 13, 14, 15, 16). Different qualitative approaches, such as Discourse Analysis, were introduced to sieve and cluster information. Local and national newspaper databases were analysed, as well as some background demographic reports. The key activity was fi nding patterns and connections between offi cial data and the ones collected on field. At this stage the initial fi ndings were shared among the student groups and a large number of common issues emerged from the different starting themes.

This part of the work explored how to visualise and communicate the fi ndings: from a descriptive and analytic understanding of the forces that shape the local context, to developing a visual narrative that uncovers the local urban and political reality.




iv. results

A design system for local informational empowerment
Each project group developed their own map with its own results:


Mobility Group


History/Future group


People group

Security/Insecurity group

Environment group
This group combined physical pollution testing with qualitative analysis of the stakeholders’ perception of the local environment.
These methods lead them to conceptualise the site as a space where the local actors of government administration, media as well as local citizens are in confl ict.
The main conclusion of this group was that the fear triggered by the media representation of the area as “Drug Park” overshadows all the local environmental
issues such as the new allotments where people are growing food in possibly heavily polluted soil.

Participants group A: Beatrice Lerma, Luca Masud, Francesca Vargiu.
Participants group B: Hanna Kim, Hyebin Park.





The workshop highlighted a unique series of complex local dynamics which began with the urban readjustments related to the Turin Olympics that have turned the Park into what is today known as the European capital of heroin dealing. Interestingly, after the workshop, none of the students thought that there were any external political or design interventions that could improve the local situations but that the local community had to be supported in creating their own solutions to these issues. In fact all the groups identified that since the 1960’s external interventions had been disrupting a local equilibrium between the different actors.

Starting with the central concept of the local network of experts, the Community Mapping project revealed the dynamics behind the physical location of Stura Park and made these dynamics visible and discussable. The workshop articulated a new concept of Embedded Design, which formulates a vision of the designer that becomes literally embedded with the social and political microcosm, he or she deals with. The designer needs to identify with the local context through full mental, bodily and emotional involvement. The designer’s role shifts to becoming a local expert who, just like other local experts, is involved in problem identifi cation, communication and problem intervention. A new role for the design discipline seems to emerge: the possibility to intervene at the informational level into the dynamic of a local system and to create empowering knowledge resources that enable collaboration between institutions, organisations and citizens.



teaching staff

project leader

Christian Nold
Designer, UK

project leader assistant
Jim Sergers
City Mine(d), Brussels, Barcelona and London

metadesign leader
Paolo Ciuccarelli
Associate Professor, INDACO Department,
Politecnico di Milano, Italy

metadesign leader assistants
Donato Ricci
PhD candidate in Industrial Design and Multimedia
Communication, INDACO Department,
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Gaia Scagnetti
PhD INDACO Department, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

local client
Antonio De Rossi
Urban Center Metropolitano, City of Torino, Italy

이 글은 스프링노트에서 작성되었습니다.

  • 영민 2009.11.17 23:54 ADDR 수정/삭제 답글


  • 2010.02.17 13:20 ADDR 수정/삭제 답글


Complexity Maps 4. Marcos Weskamp - News Map / Social Circles

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News Maps


각 분야별 뉴스의 가장 중요한 헤드라인을 시각화한 어플리케이션. 각 섹션은 더 최신 기사일 수록 밝은 톤으로, 이슈가 더욱 부각될수록 면적이 더 커짐. 

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Social Circles


메일링 리스트를 통해 사회 네트워크를 시각화한다. 거의 실시간으로 그들이 보내는 메일들간의 관계를 볼수 있다.

Marcos Weskamp
현재 사람들은 정보의 범람 속에서 작업하고 있습니다. 너무나 많은 정보가 있습니다. 우리는 도심의 어디서나 잡지, 광고, TV, 라디오 등을 통해 흘러나오는 정보의 홍수 속에서 인간의 감각을 자극하는 수많은 이미지들을 접하고 있습니다. 인터넷은 매우 훌륭한 커뮤니케이션 도구이지만 매일 지속적으로 과도한 정보를 처리하고 있습니다.

오늘날 인터넷은 새로운 과제를 안고 있습니다. 규제되지 않은 다량의 정보 배포방식을 해결하기 위해서는 대규모 데이터를 체계화, 간소화, 분석할 수 있는 새로운 시각적인 패러다임이 필요합니다. 새로운 UI 필요성도 많은 양의 정보를 처리할 때 등장하는 과제 중의 하나입니다. 경우에 따라 정보를 간단하게 시각적으로 재구성하기만 하면 완전히 새로운 방식으로 정보를 인식할 수 있게 됩니다.
<Macromedia MAX 2005 Korea / 세션 소개>

Complexity Maps 3. Thomas Laureyssens - Pedestrian Levitation

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Pedestrian Levitation


공공예술(거리예술) 프로젝트, 횡단보도에서 실제 보행자의 움직임 비디오카메라로 녹화하여 시각화하고, 그 데이터로부터 지배적인 방향성을 발견하여 그것을 토대로 가상의 방향성이 있는 삼각형을 실제 현실세계의 도로부터 빌딩 벽까지 이어지도록 배치했다. 이 작업으로 인해 공공장소의 벽이 예술적으로 해석된 아트워크의 캔버스가 될 수도 있으며, 디자인 프로세스로서의 의의도 가지게 된다.

Complexity Maps 2. Mark Lombardi - World finance corpotation and associates

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Mark Lombardi


1994년부터 "narrative structures"라는 금융과 역사적으로 중요한 스캔들에 대한 방대한 데이터를 정리하여 다이어그램으로 표현하여 독자에게 정치,사회,경제적 영향력의 실체와 그 관계를 폭로하는 프로젝트를 해오고 있는 컨셉예술가
컴퓨터 프로그램이 아니라 연필로 직접 드로잉한다

Complexity Maps 1. They Rule

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They Rule


미국 시장 내에서 가장 영향력있는 회사들의 디렉터이자 다른 회사나 위원회에서도 권력을 발휘하고 있는 이들의 관계를 시각화하고 있다. 인터렉션을 가미하여 사용자가 원하는 회사별, 디렉터별로 검색과 데이터 배치가 가능하도록 했으며, 최종 결과물을 저장, 출력도 할 수 있다. 정보가 현실과 100% 일치하지는 않지만 몇년 간 지속적으로 업데이트를 해오고 있으며, 이용자가 직접 코멘트도 남길 수 있다.

- 나름 디렉터들의 모습이 조금씩 다른게 묘미. 뚱뚱하거나, 보통 체격이거나, 말랐거나. :)
- 조직의 구조를 시각화하는게 과제였던 CI 수업 파이널 때 참고가 될 수 있었을텐데 아쉽다.

WDC Seoul Membership Orientation

윤교수님의 추천을 받아 서울시에서 지원하는 토리노 섬머스쿨 워크샵에 참가 신청을 했었고, 운 좋게도 최종 참가자로 선정되었습니다.
이 워크샵 참가 지원은 2010년 서울 디자인 수도 홍보 사업의 일환으로 2008년 디자인수도 시범도시인 토리노에서 개최되는 워크샵 참가후에도 '2010 세계디자인수도 서울 홍보단'이라는 이름하에 보고, 전시, 홍보 등의 활동도 하게 된다네요.
24일에는 처음으로 서울시청에서 오리엔테이션 및 관계분들과의 만남을 가졌습니다.
함께 가는 분들은 총 10분 (그리고 지도 교수님 2분)으로 석사, 학사 3-4학년으로 구성되었으며
제가 속한  'COMPLEXITY MAPS' 부문에는 서지민, 김하나, 김용님께서 함께 가십니다.

[2008] TORINO International summer design school

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Designing Connected Places is an international summer design school. But there is much more. It is also a programme for action throughout Piemonte. Using the tools of design, solutions will be outlined for 6 problems expressed by 6 local bodies. These are: health and well-being, food and new food networks, urban mobility, security and quality of life in the city, new production systems, and forms of representation of the region and its communities.

The summer school brings out a new definition of the "local" and a new role of design:
a connected local, understood as local in the era of networks and high connectivity, understood as a concept able to promote original development strategies.

A selected group of young designers of different nationalities will be called on to participate. Guided and stimulated by project leaders and visiting professors of great and proven international experience, they will work intensely for a week on themes indicated by local "clients" and prepared by meta-design work conducted by a group of researchers from various design schools.

Designing Connected Places is:

  • 6 themed workshops at Pollenzo
  • 1 design studio in Torino
  • 6 meetings with international visiting professors (open to the public)
The official language of Designing Connected Places is English


Designing Connected Places is an exercise of concept generation organised in 6 workshops of one week each and which involves an international group of young designers and project leaders.

Its result will be an ample set of design ideas that propose practical solutions to well-defined problems and that, at the same time and as a whole, give a vision of the potential of design for local development.

The concept generation exercise is made more effective by the support of appropriate activities of preparation and post-production of the results: analytical and planning work - the "meta-design" - conducted before and after the concept generation workshops by a team of researchers from Italian design schools


The workshop is an original form of intervention in the metropolitan and regional area.
Six specific themes significant for Piemonte branch out from the general topic of "Design for local development":

- health
- mobility
- security
- food networks
- the representation of complex phenomena
- distributed production systems

The summer school stimulates the use of knowledge and competencies typical of contemporary design to enhance social and territorial resources, to solve specific problems in Piemonte, and to promote an approach oriented towards environmental sustainability.


Design for the representation of places and communities

July 22 > 29 - Pollenzo, Italy

Torino is a city on the move. The tradition forms of representation are obsolete or inadequate to depict the current reality and the dynamics in progress.

Project question
How can the city be made legible and comprehensible, understood as a complex organism and as a web of physical and social networks?

Workshop leader : Christian Nold, designer

Local team leader : Paolo Ciuccarelli

Commitment : Urban Center Metropolitano - Torino

The urban territory is a system whose complexity is growing, in which a multitude of tangible and intangible flows (people, goods, information) stratify and interconnect.

Faced with all this, the traditional modes of mapping and representing the city appear entirely inadequate: the representations of the new physical and social networks, like that of their individual and collective life, are a new challenge for the design of communication. The representation of the phenomena demands the gradual abandonment of classical visual languages, i.e. of maps that lay their trust chiefly in the topological and geographical metaphor.

Overcoming these limits means building a new representation of the city: a collective vision capable of defining and visualising the new concept of urban space and, more in general, social spaces.

The theme, proposed in collaboration with the Urban Center Metropolitano of Torino, aims to produce visualisations in the form of diagrams and maps of relationships that induce a new way of viewing human-city interaction, and also useful for outlining new criteria for its development.