Head of Think Tank @ Infographics Group in Berlin

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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.

Award for “Speculations Transformations”

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“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.

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

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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.

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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?”

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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 >

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Vertical Farming – Hand Drawn Infographics

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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

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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.

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Read the article and check the infographics >

Germany Remixed – Infographics for Geo Magazine

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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.

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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!

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

01.07.2014 – ETH Zurich

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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.

themes:
– 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

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26.04.2014 – UQAM Montreal

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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

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17.04.2014 – Graphic Design Festival Breda

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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.

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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

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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.

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12.02.2014 – DHBW Ravensburg

Big Data – Small Pictures

• Lunchtime talk at the DHBW Ravensburg, Germany

Lunchtime talk
DHBW Mediendesign, Neues Altes Theater,
Marktstraße 13-15, 88212 Ravensburg
Mittwoch 12. Februar, 12:30 – 14:00

Die Finanzkrise und ihre globalen Auswirkungen haben weltweit eine tiefe Vertrauenskrise hervorgerufen. Die Wissensvermittlung und die Informationsverarbeitung durchleben einen immensen Wandel, der sich auch in der Arbeit des Grafikdesigners niederschlägt. Komplexe Sachverhalte müssen zugänglich und begreifbar gemacht werden, was nur mehr über ihre Visualisierung möglich scheint. Dank Edward Snowden wissen wir inzwischen, dass Big Data auch eine Bedrohung für die Demokratie und die Souveränität von Staaten sowie für die individuelle Freiheit sein kann.. Die Aufgabe eines Designers ist die fundierte Auseinandersetzung mit diesen vielschichtigen Informationen und deren Transformation. Wie aber gehen wir mit den komplexen Inhalten um und welches sind die Kriterien für eine zugängliche Infografik?

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22.01.2014 – TU Berlin

Big Data – Small Pictures

• Lecture at the Chair for Urban Design and Urbanisation, Berlin Institute of Technology (TU), Germany

January 22nd, 19:00 – 21:00,
Raum A060
Technische Universität Berlin
School of Architecture, Chair for Urban Design and Urbanisation CUD
Straße des 17. Juni 152, 10623 Berlin

Die Finanzkrise und ihre globalen Auswirkungen haben weltweit eine tiefe Vertrauenskrise hervorgerufen. Die Wissensvermittlung und die Informationsverarbeitung durchleben einen immensen Wandel, der sich auch in der Arbeit des Grafikdesigners niederschlägt. Komplexe Sachverhalte müssen zugänglich und begreifbar gemacht werden, was nur mehr über ihre Visualisierung möglich scheint. Dank Edward Snowden wissen wir inzwischen, dass Big Data auch eine Bedrohung für die Demokratie und die Souveränität von Staaten sowie für die individuelle Freiheit sein kann. Unsere Aufgabe ist die fundierte Auseinandersetzung mit diesen vielschichtigen Informationen und deren Transformation. Wie aber gehen wir mit den komplexen Inhalten um und welches sind die Kriterien für eine zugängliche Infografik?

Der Vortrag ist eine Kooperation zwischen dem Fachgebiet für Städtebau und Urbanisierung, Prof. Jörg Stollmann, und dem Fachgebiet für Städtebau und nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung, Prof. Raoul Bunschoten. Der Vortrag ist organisiert von Anne-Katrin Fenk, Mitbegründerin des MOD Institute Bangalore/Berlin.

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06.11.2013 – FH Bielefeld

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Big Data – Small Picture

• Lecture and Performance-Workshop at the FH Bielefeld (University of Applied Sciences), Germany

Die Finanzkrise und ihre globalen Auswirkungen haben weltweit eine tiefe Vertrauenskrise hervorgerufen. Die Wissensvermittlung und die Informationsverarbeitung durchleben einen immensen Wandel, der sich auch in der Arbeit des Grafikdesigners niederschlägt. Komplexe Sachverhalte müssen zugänglich und begreifbar gemacht werden, was nur mehr über ihre Visualisierung möglich scheint. Dank Edward Snowden wissen wir inzwischen, dass Big Data auch eine Bedrohung für die Demokratie und die Souveränität von Staaten sowie für die individuelle Freiheit sein kann.. Die Aufgabe eines Designers ist die fundierte Auseinandersetzung mit diesen vielschichtigen Informationen und deren Transformation. Wie aber gehen wir mit den komplexen Inhalten um und welches sind die Kriterien für eine zugängliche Infografik?

Nicolas Bourquin, Gründer und Kreativdirektor des Schweizer Grafikstudios onlab in Berlin, führt anhand von Fallbeispielen in das Thema des Workshops ein. Im Anschluss an seinen Vortrag wird er eine konkrete Aufgabe stellen, die in einem begrenzten Zeitraum auf experimentelle, spielerische Weise umgesetzt werden soll. Der Umgang mit verflochtenen Datenstrukturen und eine schnell erfassbare Visualisierung stehen dabei im Fokus. Zum Abschluss findet im Plenum eine Feedbackrunde statt.

Vortrag: 10:00 Uhr
Workshop: 11:00 Uhr
Feedback: 15:00 Uhr

20.06.2013 – Symposium in Boston

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Swiss Style Reboot

• Talk in the panel “Principles of Information Design” at 6:00 pm. at the “Information Design and Data Visualization Boston 2013” symposium at the Northeastern University in Boston.

Information Design and Data Visualization Boston 2013 is a one-day symposium featuring exhibition tours, movie screenings and presentations by 20 distinguished speakers, on topics ranging from wind maps to the visualization of biological and urban data.

The event is taking place on June 20, from 11:00 am-9:00 pm, at Northeastern University in Boston. It is open to public and free. RSVP recommended.

Information Design and Data Visualization Boston 2013 was developed out of SwissInfographics’ exhibition project Swiss Style Reboot. This origin is embodied by the symposium’s logo: the SwissInfographics cross turned into a network diagram.

 

 

12.06.2013 – Conference in Luxembourg

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Datatorial

• Nicolas Bourquin is invited to give a conference at Mudam, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in the context of the designfriends event series.

Mudam Luxembourg, 3 Park Dräi Eechelen, 1499 Luxembourg
Wednesday June 12th, 6:30 pm. – 9:00 pm.

The aftermath of the financial crisis provoked a deep confidence crisis on a global level. The strategic, creative decisions of media corporations and companies are more and more led by doubts or anxiety. Therefore, companies and institutions seek new methods to visualize their activities or processes, and consequently advocate for more transparency. However, they struggle to provide the necessary financial resources to be able to develop high-quality, innovative solutions for the masses. So far, most of the commissioned infographic projects did not prove to be financially viable.

In spite of (and because of) this situation, we are involved in a rethinking process to understand the differences between earlier forms of collaboration and more sustainable contemporary working methods. Design is a narrative that can change how people approach the world.

Save the date and register!

16.05.2013 – Hamburg, Germany

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Stilvorlagen

• Conference at the HAW Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg, in the context of “Stilvorlagen 8 – Eine Vortragsreihe zu Design und Gesellschaft”

19:00, HAW Hamburg, Department Design,
Aula der Armgartstraße 24, 22087 Hamburg
Admission: 2,00 – 6,00 EUR

Am 16. Mai wird Nicolas Bourquin zu Gast sein! Der Designer, Publizist und Mitbegründer der Grafikdesign-Agentur onlab kommt nach drei Jahren erneut zu den Stilvorlagen.

onlab steht vor allem für innovatives Editorial Design, stellt sich aber zunehmend den Herausforderungen des Informationsdesigns. Transparenz und Anschaulichkeit schaffen Vertrauen und werden immer wichtiger in der Kommunikation von Unternehmen. Dieses Arbeitsfeld verlangt vom Designer ein interdisziplinäres Verständnis, das Qualität und Synthese von Informationen und deren Darstellung unmittelbar beeinflusst. Onlab verbindet die ästhetische Inszenierung komplexer Inhalte mit didaktischer Funktionalität und – das ist das Besondere – einladender Emotionalität.

Nicolas Bourquin wird uns anhand neuer Projekte einen Blick in den aufwändigen und zeitintensiven Arbeitsprozess des Gestaltens von Informationen gewähren.

04.04.2013 – Lecture in Kiel

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Making-of: Infografik und die neue Rolle des Gestalters

• Nicolas Bourquin is invited by the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel (Germany) to present onlab’s work in the field of infographics in the context of a 4 days Workshop with the Bachelor and Master students.

The lecture: “Making-of – Infografik und die neue Rolle des Gestalters” is open to the public and will take place at the “Kesselhaus” at 6pm.

Muthesius Kunsthochschule, Legienstr. 35, 24103 Kiel, Germany

19.01.2013 – Symposium in Bielefeld

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Diagrams: Images as models of knowledge

• Nicolas Bourquin is invited by the Bielefelder Kunstverein to present onlab’s work in the field of infographics in the context of the current exhibition “Diagrams” that enquires the worlds of images and the strategies of visualisation in art.

Symposium:
Diagrams. Images as models of knowledge
Saturday 19.01.2013, 12:00 am.

Bielefelder Kunstverein, im Waldhof, Welle 61
33602 Bielefeld, Germany

The Exhibition “Diagrams” is open from November 10th 2012 till January 27th 2013. The works exhibited at Bielefelder Kunstverein make relations to diagrams, examples of cartography, notations and other graphic models visible. With contributions by: Ruth Buchanan, Gerhard Dirmoser, Philipp Hamann, Nikolaus Gansterer, Luis Jacob, Eva Kotátková, Michael Najjar, Alexandre Singh, Marcus Steinweg und Jorinde Voigt