Master of Arts
in Interaction Design

Master in Interaction Design SUPSI Adventures in data visualization 2015



Adventures in Data Visualization is a summer workshop dedicated to explorations into the field of data visualization by means of computational technologies and design approaches. By accessing and manipulating open datasets, the participants design and develop projects that make raw data perceivable through digital or physical matters, transforming them in interactive experiences or in narrative flows. The projects can be built upon the use of storytelling, experimental or artistic approaches, information design techniques: the adventures in data visualization can be many in the time frame of five days hands-on workshop.

The workshop activities are based on design, coding and making sessions where participants develop a project individually or in teams. There are no design briefs or media constraints: the output can be a screen based work, a projection based installation or site specific installation, a 3D printed or laser cut structure. The main programming language of the workshop is javascript/D3js, but participants can choose a different prototyping platform or programming language depending on the goal of their project.

Open datasets

The raw dataset available during the workshop are provided by OASI, the Environmental Data Laboratory of Southern Switzerland, that support the workshop organization. OASI releases open data about several environmental conditions, from air pollution, weather, light pollution to noise and traffic. Here the link to the OASI website featuring the open datasets about air pollution, noise, traffic, meteo, light pollution in different areas and city in Ticino.
OASI advanced data search

Workshop format

The workshop is an intensive educational course featuring hands-on activities, peer to peer learning and tutoring sessions. During the workshop tutoring sessions and resources are provided according to the design goal of the participants’ projects. The tutoring sessions focus on javascript/D3.js. People with advanced technological knowledge is free to use their favourite prototyping and development framework and get support and collaboration on the design level.


Adventures in Data Visualization is open to interaction designers, creative coders, software developers, researchers and makers interested in doing things with data. A basic knowledge of scripting and programming language is required in order to participate to the workshop (but do not be scared, if you are a beginner and you are highly motivated, you are very welcome to register to the workshop).


Participants must register by filling the on-line registration form and by providing a motivation with a description of their technological and design skills.


5 days, from Sunday 19th to Thursday 23rd July 2015, about 7 hours per day (35 hours)

Registration fees

250 CHF
Tuition includes the registration to the workshop, access to the equipment of FabLab, tutoring sessions, basic materials, release of the attendance certificate.



Equipment and materials

Participants have access to the digital fabrication equipment of FabLab SUPSI that consists in:
– 3D printer uPrint dimension (printing area 203 x 152 x 152 mm, layer thickness: 0.254 mm, material: ABS in ivory).
– 3D printer ultimaker (210 x210x205 mm, layer thickness: from 0.3 mm to 0.1 mm, material: PLA)
CNC shopbot machine (model 48’’, cutting area: 610 x 1219 x 127mm, materials: no metals)
– Laser cutter and engraver (cutting area: 900 x 600 m, CO2 laser tube, 60w)
– Some Hardware is also available such as one kinect, 4 projectors, 2 HD webcams, sensors and actuators, etc.
– Consumables such as plywood, mdf and wood for the laser cutter and the CNC machine are available in a few quantity. ABS and PLA are also available but not infinite. Extra materials must be bought by the participants.

Participants must bring their own laptop.


Workshop activities will take place at Campus Trevano SUPSI in the atelier of Master of Advanced Studies in Interaction Design and FabLab SUPSI Lugano, Building A, level -1.
Special events will take place at Turba, a cultural space in the city center of Lugano.

Special events: dataviz dinner and final exhibition

Adventures in Data Visualization aims to be an event where people exchange information and visions about topics related to design and technology. Participants are warmly invited to give a public presentation about their works or interests on Sunday 19th July. The public presentations will take place at Turba followed by a dinner.
Please register to the dinner and the public presentation through the main registration form.
The dinner is not included in the registration fee.

After-workshop life

Lugano is a lovely city offering many cultural and music events during the summer period. Here the information about Lugano Long Lake Festival that takes place from July to August.
Evening dives into the lake of Lugano are also an important activity of the workshop. Please bring your own bath suit.

Accommodation and boards

The registration to the workshop does not include the accommodation and the boards. SUPSI canteen and bar offer at lunch sandwiches and meals starting from 6.00 CHf to 15.00 CHF.
Some accommodation solutions can be found here



Fabio Franchino – workshop tutor

Fabio is a computational designer and a founding partner at ToDo. He has always been involved in creative processes, ranging in fields from music to design, passing through performing and generative arts. One day he discovered the potential of programming as a medium and unconventional tool for his creative purposes. He explores ideas through evolving processes, often finding unexpected, meaningful outcomes and new aesthetics. After gaining senior experience with ActionScript and Processing, recently he has been exploring JavaScript and web technology, trying to discover further creative potentials. He has taught in several institutions and has held workshops in his field of expertise; he also organized the first Italian event devoted to computational practices in art and design.

OASI – environmental data laboratory of Southern Switzerland

OASI is the laboratory responsible for the monitoring, validation and publication of the environmental data referred to Canton Ticino.
OASI website


Visit the flickr album.

Workshop documentation

Here is the full documentation of the workshop.