Augmented Infographics


After several explorations and iterations, we – the Infographics Group Think Tank – have put together a few AR prototypes, to better understand the potential for storytelling with infographics – my favorite is the experience around Hokusai’s work: while parents would enjoy the wood print, kids would learn about why mountains sometimes explode.

Check our Medium Post >

EDCH Conference Munich


No Catalog
On Display – An Exhibition Magazine

Back in 2015, in the context of the launch of On Display Magazine, MagCulture reported the creation of magazines instead of exhibition catalogues as an emerging trend. Three years and seven issues after, Nicolas will present the proof of concept of the award-winning magazine at the EDCH Conference in Munich on Friday March 9th, 3.40 – 5 PM. (Business Session).

Check the program and the speakers list.

On Display magazine is published to accompany the exhibition series Design Display held in the Autostadt in Wolfsburg. Each issue provides more background information with essays and interviews.


Head of Think Tank @ Infographics Group in Berlin


A little bit more than one year after moving to San Francisco, I got the great opportunity to join the team at Infographics Group in Berlin. As head of the IGG Think Tank / Creative Direction I look forward to teaming up with founder Jan Schwochow and my long-term creative partner Sven Ehmann.

As founder and owner of onlab, I am staying on in an advisory capacity and consultant.

At Method in San Francisco, I helped companies to develop visions for a disruptive future using insight gained from working on innovative products and technologies. I am excited to bring this competence together with the craft and experience gathered in the past years to seek after new grounds, innovative formats, technology, projects, services, products and partnerships in the fields of infographics, data visualization and visual storytelling.

The shift in knowledge transfer and information processing, the potential of the ensuing social and economic changes constitute fascinating and promising challenges. I can’t wait to explore, discuss, share and develop ideas with all of you.

Red Dot Award for “On Display” Magazine


On Display magazine (German/English) is published to accompany the exhibition series Design Display held in the Autostadt in Wolfsburg (Germany). Each issue (6 so far) provides more background information with essays and interviews. Concept, Art Direction, and Design: onlab Berlin.







The exhibition focus on the terminus of design and its extended understandings. Its concept – developed in collaboration with Konstantin Grcic and Jesko Fezer – is based on the principles of dialogue and process.

Every three months two carefully selected design objects/positions/projects are brought together – within a huge prismatic vitrine, which itself can be read as a design object and statement due to its size. The vitrine offers generous space to let the two exhibits start a dialogue with both each other and the visitors in front of it.

By extracting and recombining selected design aspects the exhibition project aims to contribute to the contemporary discourses about what design is, can and will be, its social impact and where it is passing its very own limits.

You can order the 5th issue of the Magazine FOR FREE here. On Display 05 deals with the interplay of design and democracy (participative design and electronic democracy).


Award for “Speculations Transformations”


“Speculations Transformations – Thoughts on the Future of Germany’s Cities and Regions” is one of the winners of die schönsten deutschen bücher 2017 – most beautiful German books 2017!

The book we spent more than 3 years to design, facilitates a better understanding of the present, addresses pending spatial transformations and speculates about their effects.

See Project and Making-of >

Speculations Transformations is an atlas of Baukultur composed of texts, maps and photographies that drafts scenarios about the spatial, natural, urban, architectural, and social environments in which we might live in 2050, after having faced economic and infrastructural transformations.

San Francisco


As you may already know, I am collaborating since early July as Creative Director at Method in San Francisco. This opportunity gives me the possibility to take on new challenges and develop my experience as well as my network in a new working environment.

Of course, projects will continue at onlab. As CEO, Christine Gückel-Daxer will take charge of onlab in Berlin and head the team in our new premises along with talented and experienced Creative Director Thomas Weyres. Thibaud Tissot will assume as Executive and Creative Director management of onlab in Switzerland in autumn where he will strengthen our studio presence at home along with an outstanding local team. The 2 offices will continue to collaborate as a single entity.

From a distance and as the founder of onlab, I will be staying on in an advisory capacity.

The paradigm shift in knowledge transfer, news and information processing, and the ensuing social changes, constitute a new and compelling field.

As designers, we stage content, create connections, tell stories and make them readable, thus creating qualitative value at both the visual and narrative level. These are the central ideas I have addressed – later together with Thibaud – while managing onlab with passion, enthusiasm and assiduity to become an internationally-recognized design studio.

As a graphic entrepreneur and after intensive years of commissioned, collaborative and self-initiated design and publishing projects, it is now time for me to embrace new challenges. After so many years in Berlin, in the heart of one of the most creative cities, I am looking forward to experiencing a different environment – and to being closer to the sea.

Mapping the thoughts on the Future of Germany’s Cities and Regions


The book Speculations Transformations – Thoughts on the Future of Germany’s Cities and Regions (Lars Müller Publishers) we spent more than 3 years to design, facilitates a better understanding of the present, addresses pending spatial transformations and speculates about their effects.


The atlas of Baukultur is composed of texts, maps and photographies that drafts scenarios about the spatial, natural, urban, architectural, and social environments in which we might live in 2050, after having faced economic and infrastructural transformations.

See Project and Making-of >

Launch on Tuesday April 19, 7 PM, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. “Speculations Transformations” Edited by Matthias Böttger, Stefan Carsten, Ludwig Engel

“So what do you do?”


In the October 2015 issue of the German Design Magazine “On Display“, Florian Heilmeyer attempts to figure out what exactly graphic designer Nicolas Bourquin does.

“It could be that Nicolas Bourquin is primarily a graphic designer with a keen interest in the political and economic relationships of the world; as a result, he cannot simply be a graphics service provider, but must inevitably grapple with his projects’ contextual positions.”

Read the full article >



Vertical Farming – Hand Drawn Infographics


With more than 9 billion to feed by the year 2050, the world will need new ways to produce and distribute food. Vertical farming is both efficient and environmentally friendly. The infographic shows the aspects and process of Vertical Farming.

The hand drawn Infographics was released in the 5th issue of Technologist magazine – an initiative of the EuroTech Universities Alliance published by the media agency LargeNetwork, bringing together exciting research and innovation from Europe and beyond.

“The 2020’s Will Be The Decade Of The Vertical Farming Revolution.”
Ray Kurzweil, Google

Read the article and check the infographics >

First Sketches

Storytelling of the infographics on the facing pages – vertical and horizontal layout.

vf_sketch_2Dramaturgy: tests with a “flat” perspective and/or two-points perspective

vf_sketch_3Positioning of the contents whithin the drawing and vertical layout.



Read the article and check the infographics >

Germany Remixed – Infographics for Geo Magazine


In the heart of the refugee crisis and the rise of the right-wing extremism in Europe, the infographics “Germany Remixed” designed for Geo Magazine (actual german issue: 09 2015) present the share of the population with migration background in Germany and other countries today.


Stunning? Regions where the right-wing activism is at the highest, the population with migration background is at the lowest. Germany Remixed – check out our inforgaphics in the actual Geo Magazin issue!


The infographics is part of a larger article on the new face of Germany together with the impressive photographic work of Martin Schoeller.

Works 2001 – 2019 @ the swiss design award 2015!


Joël Tettamanti won the swiss design award 2015 in the category “photography” with the publication ‘Works 2001 – 2019‘ and series of photographies. Congratulations Joël! Concept, editors: Nicolas Bourquin, Sven Ehmann, Design: Nicolas Bourquin (onlab), Texts: Gianpaolo Arena, Alan Rapp, Joël Tettamanti, Published by Benteli

All the award winners will be honoured on the evening of 16 June, starting at 6pm, together with the selected award winners of the Swiss Grand Award for Design 2015: 16–21 June, Halle 4, Messe Basel

15.06.2015 – Edition Umbruch


Four Master’s students of the HAW Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg are working on a new publication: Edition Umbruch. This project is about the future of books and the new role of the designer in this context. With an interview of Nicolas Bourquin (among others great participants). You can support the Crowdfunding project here >

Vier Masterstudentinnen der HAW Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg haben die Publikation Edition Umbruch erarbeitet – eine Publikation über die Zukunft des Buches und die damit verbundene Rolle des Gestalters. Mit Interviews von Nicolas Bourquin, Sven Ehmann und viele andere Interviewpartner. Nur noch 7 Tage für die Crowdfunding-Aktion >


25.04.2015 – 07.06.2015 Dortmunder U


Exhibition about books at dortmunder u – zentrum für kunst und kreativität, curated by buchlabor – institut für buchforschung.

Joël Tettamanti: Works 2011 – 2019 is part of the exhibition (among other contemporary and innovative book projects) about the reading culture and behavior in the digital society of today.

dialoge über bücher – über lesen
Exhibition: April 25th – June 7th. 2015
Open daily from 11am – 6pm. (Monday closed)

dortmunder u – zentrum für kunst und krativität
uzwei, kulturelle bildung – leonie-reygers-terasse
44137 Dortmund, Germany

Check the agenda of the Exhibition concerning lecture, symposia, workshops and events.
Das Buchlabor on Facebook and Instagram >
Organized by: fachhochschule dortmund (fachbereich design)

Tettamanti’s book >
Designed by onlab >


09.10.2014 – Frankfurt Book Fair


One Book in Three Editions: A Worldwide Unique Photo Book
Presentation of the new book of Joël Tettamanti.

The project revives the photo book as a medium in times of digitalisation. “Works 2001–2019” is a professionally published book combined with print-on-demand production including various types of editions, thus enabling customers to participate in the production process by selecting photos for their own edition.

Presentation: 09.10.2014, 3.00 pm.
Location: 4.1 Q17, Exhibition site of the Frankfurt Book Fair
Organiser: Benteli Verlag & Stiftung Buchkunst
Participants: Joël Tettamanti, Nicolas Bourquin, Sven Ehmann

More informations >

Joël Tettamanti – Works 2001-2019 Teaser from onlab on Vimeo.

01.07.2014 – ETH Zurich


Nicolas is invited to hold a public lecture and a participate to a workshop about cartography and cartographical representation in the context of the project ‘Planetary Urbanization in a Comparative Perspective’.

The research project consists of an experimental comparison of urbanisation processes in 8 urban mega regions. It investigates the sharp increase in speed, scale and scope of urbanisation as well as the surprising forms of difference, diversity and variation within and between urban areas. (Pearl River Delta, Tokyo, Kolkata, Istanbul, Lagos, Paris, Mexico City and Los Angeles). The major aim of the project is to develop adequate definitions of these processes, which means to capture both global and local dimensions alike.

Public lecture with Nicolas Bourquin, Jan Lindenberg, Philippe Rekacewicz, Christian Schmid, Peter Spillmann
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 2 pm. – 7 pm.
ETH Zurich, HIL E 67
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8093 Zurich

Cartographic representations are today widely applied in architecture, urban design, planning, and social sciences. However, moments of critical reflection on methodological foundations,and political consequences of mapping are rare. This transdisciplinary symposium has the aim to engage a critical discussion on mapping and cartography, by inviting four specialists in geography, cartography, visual representation, arts and graphic design for a presentation of their experiences in mapping. The lecture and workshop will particularly focus on mapping practice as a device for critical reflection of urbanization processes and investigate the notions of time, clarity and intuitive imprecision in the maps.

– discussion of different forms and means of cartographic representation and their effects.
– possible consequences of producing visibility through mapping exercises
– limits of the cartographic method (cartographic silences, mapping the non-mappable?)
– hierarchies of representation (e.g. center of the map, projection, orientation).
– differentiation between analysis of built environment and analysis of urbanization processes;
– differentiation between temporal and spatial level of interpretation
– legibility of maps and reasonable density of information despite superimposition of different levels of data

ETH – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Zurich, Switzerland
Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture gta
Chair for the History of Art and Architecture


26.04.2014 – UQAM Montreal


Nicolas Bourquin and Thibaud Tissot are invited to participate to the “International Design Week” to be held at the School of Design at UQAM in Montreal, Canada.

Nicolas Bourquin is talking at the public conference
on Saturday April 26th. 11:00 am
at UQAM, 200 rue Sherbrooke Ouest amphithéâtre SH -2800

Workshop with Nicolas and Thibaud from April 28th – May 3rd.
Launch on Saturday May 3rd

Follow the process of the Workshops on the design international blog >

Every year the School of Design invites international renowned designers, academics and practitioners, working in different fields of design, to animate a series of intensive workshops. These workshops allow participating students to identify different conditions of both professional and alternative practices in the various design fields.This year, the “International Design” week will begin on Saturday, April 26, ending Saturday, May 3, 2014


17.04.2014 – Graphic Design Festival Breda


onlab is invited to participate to the Graphic Design Festival of Breda in the Netherlands.

From 17 to 27 April 2014, the fourth edition of the biennal Graphic Design Festival Breda (GDFB) will be held. The festival explores current developments in the field of graphic visual culture and presents it in the historic centre of Breda. This 2014 edition investigates the role designers play in a process of change and offers the public a guideline to apply this process in a personal context.


The infographics is based on the Article “The Ministry of Shell Affairs” by Marcel Metze, published in De Groene Amsterdammer. As main resource for the article and complementary film documentary “Tegenlicht – Big Data: The Shell Search” Marcel Metze used Wikileaks cables mostly related to political issues. The visualization features persons, organisations and countries that are connected to the British-Dutch oli and gas giant company throughout the 400 leaks.

16.04.2014 – Zurich University of the Arts


Nicolas Bourquin is invited by the Master Design Communication of the ZHdK Zurich University of the Arts to talk about onlab’s work, working method and professional practice in the field of Editorial Design, Visual Identity, Infographics, Knowledge Transfer and Information Processing.

The conference is taking place on Wednesday April 16th. at 5.30 pm.
at the ZHdK, Zurich University of the Arts, Ausstellungstrasse 60, room SQ504, 5th. floor.

The event is for the Master and Bachelor students of the ZHdK and open to the public.
> Facebook event

Unter der Veranstaltungsreihe SPOT stellen wir interessante und namhafte Designer aus der Praxis ins Rampenlicht und hören gespannt ihren Erfahrungen aus dem Designalltag zu.


20.03.2014 – LongLunch Glasgow


Nicolas Bourquin is talking at the first Scottish LongLunch of 2014 on Thursday, March 20.

Mackintosh Lecture Theatre, Glasgow School of Art
Doors open 7.00pm/7.30pm start
Tickets available soon: £8/£6 Sold out!

LongLunch organises informal lectures/talks/events from respected individuals and companies in the design industry. LongLunch has been running talks since January 2003, and arranged over 50 talks in the UK. The events are normally located in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.

 Photos: LongLunch, Gordon Burniston

posteronlab10Poster Design: onlab, Nicolas Polli

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