Institute of Digital Communication Environments

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  • Publikation
    Defying the limits of the plane: Two-dimensional space and its consequences in the search for the order of nature
    (Intellect, 01.04.2015) López Grüninger, Paloma [in: Journal of Illustration]
    The discussion about the order of nature holds a central position in the History of Biological Science. It reached its culmination between the mid-eighteenth and the late nineteenth century, when new knowledge forced a rearrangement of existing thought patterns to adapt them to the recently discovered complexity. Not only different concepts about the relationships among organisms were superseding one another, but also images, as a variety of structures were used to visually display these ideas. Each of these visualizations, usually described as ladders, maps, networks and trees, developed a particular, individual formal language, generating a unique and fascinating collection of graphical examples. This formal variability is a product of the changing ideas about nature, about its origins, and even about the position attributed to human beings within it. However, it is also the result of the authors’ struggle with the drawing space in which this order was to be inscribed. By studying the history of the illustration of the order of nature from the perspective of applied image production, by analysing the strategies their authors used to visually express their ideas, the graphical elements they employed, in summary, the visual choices they made, much can be learnt about the visual medium itself, its specificity, its possibilities, its power. Using this approach, the following article will show that the transition from the scala naturae to maplike or treelike structures cannot be seen exclusively as proof of an intellectual transition, as a succession of abstract ideas, but as creative attempts to solve specific spatial problems imposed by the realm of the visual.
    01A - Beitrag in wissenschaftlicher Zeitschrift
  • Publikation
    Robert Zandvliet - Florilegium. Overview 1998 - 2023
    (Peter Blum Edition, 2024) Hollaus, Invar Torre; Zandvliet, Robert
    Invar-Torre Hollaus: Robert Zandvliet – A Boundless Gaze (S.6-9) & A Dialogue about Painting – Invar-Torre Hollaus in Conversation with Robert Zandvliet (S.36-42), in: Robert Zandvliet – Florilegium, Ausst.-Kat. Peter Blum Gallery, New York 2024
    02 - Monographie
  • Publikation
    Bruno Seitz. Aquarelle: Erkundungen zu Licht und Farbe
    (Tony Wuethrich Galerie, 2024) Hollaus, Invar Torre; Tony Wuethrich Galerie [in: Bruno Seitz. Vice versa]
    14 - Ausstellungsbeitrag
  • Publikation
    Algorithmic experience: visualising the Instagram machine learning process for end-users
    (Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel FHNW, 2023) Szlachta, Anna Maria; Reymond, Claire; Oplatek, Jiri; Zeller, Ludwig
    Algorithmic experience (AX) is a Human Computer Interaction concept that applies to digital products where a significant part of the end-user experience is determined by the algorithms. In other words, it is not only the quality of the interface that is relevant, but also the algorithmic processes whose result is represented by the interface. Some examples of such software products are social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and others. With the advancement of algorithms, machine learning and AI, the algorithmic experience that is delivered is increasingly personalised. Moreover, the tailored content means that the experience can be different for each user, depending on several factors. Digital product designers therefore face the challenge of researching with users about their algorithmic experience. However, when we speak of algorithms, we mean complex processes that are invisible to end-users. Typically, understanding algorithmic models and concepts also requires advanced mathematical or technical knowledge. So far, such research has been conducted by means of in-depth interviews, but hit many additional obstacles with, for example, the understanding of basic algorithmic vocabulary. During the thesis, it was proposed to overcome this barrier by using visualisation. Building a common ground between designers and end-users using visual language could deepen the quality of the interviews. This would enable UX researchers to provide more valuable insights to the data science team and also be responsible for shaping the algorithmic experience of the product. The popular social media platform Instagram was chosen as an example for visualisation. A series of images explored how to present the algorithmic process to non-experts. The process included not only image-making but also conversations with Instagram users in an iterative process: design – evaluation with five users during in-depth interviews – design – and next sessions with users. This made it possible to provide an interactive final visualisation that mainly focuses on inputs and outputs, elements in the algorithmic process that are familiar to users. Combined with Instagram’s familiar layout, this enabled discussion on multiple levels, not only referencing users’ own experiences of using the platform, but also learning how much and how users combine information in their mental model of the algorithm. The visual investigation also allowed for a broader consideration of privacy policies and data gathering by technology companies, and their real impact on users’ algorithmic experience. The illustrations opposite show the concepts tested during the design process. During the image-making process, an effort was attempted to combine, on the one hand, Instagram’s known layout for users and, on the other, to present what data is processed by machine learning and AI processes that determine the shape of the algorithmic experience. However, the main focus was on the input and output data in the input-black-box-output process.
    11 - Studentische Arbeit
  • Publikation
    In between moments of emptiness in the urban transformation process. Zwischenmomente der Leere im städtischen Transformationsprozess
    (Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel FHNW, 2023) Steiner, Franziska; Ahn, Jinsu; Käser, Susanne; Savic, Selena
    Empty industrial sites are frequent occurrences due to structural changes of cities. The areas and buildings left behind, initially inaccessible to the public, provide cities with new spaces. These play an important role for a future-oriented, progressive urban planning. During long processes the areas are transformed into residential, cultural or new commercial spaces. Through opening the area for the public, stories and knowledge about former uses of the industrial site disappear. Urban changes become difficult to comprehend if the process is not properly documented. As cities are in a constant flux and people adapt to new environments very quickly, it is often forgotten how it had felt or looked before. This raises the question of how urban changes can be documented, made visible and perceptible. In Basel, too, there are numerous ongoing ideas and projects for the conversion of former industrial and commercial areas. As an example of a transformation process that is still in its infancy, this master’s thesis is focused on the disused factory site "Franck-Areal" in Basel. Its emptiness offers to be explored and creates new spaces of possibilities. Inspired by the techniques of photoethnography and visual anthropology, the area is explored and documented over a period of five months. The research is mainly done through participative observation with the use of the medium photography and is used as a tool for "data collection". By looking through the camera, a different view of the environment is experienced. Through the process of photography, moments are illuminated that are only perceived through the view of the camera. Through the resulting images, moments are highlighted that will disappear with the transformation. These moments refer not only to the visually perceived, but also to a holistic, physical experience of space that is incorporated during this work. During the process of taking photographs, it is not only the sense of sight that is focused on the surroundings, but also the presence of the whole body in the space. In addition to the photographs, further material is produced during the five-month "field research". After visiting the site, personal impressions and experiences and notes from conversations are written down. A further exploration of the ‘empty space’ are the photographs and pictures from old books and archives. They contribute to overcome the physical and mental inaccessibility of the area. As a second part the images that have been created and collected are subsequently ordered, analysed and evaluated with reference to ethnographic methods. This leads to categories that indicate the symbolism of the images. They also reveal the photographer’s perspective and point of view. These indicate which motifs were perceived as important during the research. For example, they show the importance and symbolism of doors which played an essential role during the work. The resulting material is processed into a physical publication that allows the viewer to experience the place. Linked to the personal experiences during the research period, the readers go through a small section of the transformation process, from an untouchable to a space of possibility.
    11 - Studentische Arbeit