Malofiej21 – Data Visualization Conference

April 5, 2013 - Information Design

Spain’s world renown data visualization conference, 2013 Pamplona

I’ve learned about Malofiej thanks to Moritz Stefaner and Enrico Bertini who run one of my favourite podcasts, Datastories, they always interview and talk about the best professionals, books, workpieces, related to Data-visualization which is a discipline that fascinates me.

To start with, I was really surprised that being an spanish conference it was so little known amongst the designer professional circles, but I guess it’s due to it’s close relation with journalism and printed media as it’s a pretty old conference, as the name says it, this was edition No 21, so it’s always been here since even before the internet was popular as communication medium. In particular I like the character of Alexander Malofiej, an argentinian cartographer (in the picture) who evidently valued the power of a nap. Now I also love the name of their workshops “Show don’t tell!” what a great name for this type of work.

I am lucky Malofiej is in Pamplona, such a beautiful place, I convinced my colleague Ione to come along just by convincing her that the future of services are going to be so closely related to data visualization that we need to learn from the best, yes, that was and still is my argument for a service designer.

I won’t focus in too much of the shocking details that we experienced at the conference but I will be happy to share what I believe were the most appealing presentations.

Infográfico del Periódico la Voz, Rescate de Mineros Chilenos

I saw amazing pieces of work but I must say that the most impressing one for me was Juan Colombato‘s piece about the Chileans Miners Rescue in 2010, this piece is not only astonishly simple but also tremendously powerful at conveying empathy from the readership, to me it was almost an art piece, because it helps you to position your body in the amount of space, it explores the printed media in a very interactive way. Well, I want to save this piece in my heart and one day have such powerful ideas.

I was so happy to be able to listen talk really humble professionals such as Stefanie Posavec, multi-disciplinary geniuses like Graham Roberts from the New York Times, hidden quotidian spanish gems like Jaime Sierra who has a weekly column at La Vanguardia, consolidated women such as Fernanda Viègas, Amanda Hobbs and Jen Christensen, I was so relieved and happy that the sector is not male predominant. Explore a bit into the academic world with Wibke Weber, etc.

One this I must say is that I was really grateful to be in what I felt like a very plural event, I wish there was more presence of Asia and Middle east probably but I am quite satisfied about the diversity of countries that participated in the conference, something that saddens me some times is that most conferences in my sector are sometime really anglocentric, I really loved this conference and would be happy to go back.