Photo of Isabel Meirelles
imeirelles@faculty.ocadu.ca
Photo of Isabel Meirelles
Isabel Meirelles
Professor
Faculty of Design, Graduate Studies
ORCID# 0000-0001-8111-6002
imeirelles@faculty.ocadu.ca

Area(s) of Expertise

Information Design & Visualization, Communication Design, Interactive design, Motion Graphics

Overview

Isabel Meirelles is an information designer and educator whose intellectual curiosity lies in the relationships between visual thinking and visual representation. She is a professor in the faculty of design at OCAD University, Toronto, and the recipient of the 2015/2016 OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. From 2003 to 2104, she was on the faculty of Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media and Design in the department of art and design, where she helped create the MFA in information design and data visualization. In addition to writing widely on the role of data visualization in society, culture, and education, Meirelles is the author of Design for Information: An introduction to the Histories, Theories, and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations (Rockport, 2013). Her research focuses on the theoretical and experimental examination of the fundamentals underlying how information is structured, represented, and communicated in different media. Meirelles frequently teams up with colleagues on interdisciplinary projects involving visualization of information. She has organized numerous conferences, initiatives, and exhibitions on the topic, including Information+, the Arts, Humanities, and Complex Network symposium at NetSci, and the Art of Networks exhibitions at Complenet. In her creative practice, she collaborates with artists and curators to design print and digital publications of their work.

Education

MFA, Communication Design, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Boston, MA, U.S.

MArch, History & Theory of Architecture, A.A. School of Architecture, London, U.K.

BArch, FABESP, São Paulo, Brazil. 

 

Professional Experience

Isabel's professional experience includes architecture, art, and communication design. She has held positions in Sao Paulo, Brazil, that includes chairperson of the Art Education & Public Affairs Department at the MASP–Museum of Art of Sao Paulo (the principal art museum in Brazil), and senior design positions at major publishing companies, including one of the largest media holdings in Latin America, Editora Abril. While in Boston and now in Toronto, Isabel has continued a small design practice that focuses mainly on projects for cultural and nonprofit institutions.

Awards \ Grants

last 5 years      

2017: Recipient of the 2015/2016 OCAD University Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity
2015: book Design for Information received Gold in the Editorial Category at the IIIDawards 2014, International Institute for Information Design (IIID), Austria.

SELECTED JURIED RESEARCH FUNDING
2016-2017:  Co-PI: I. Meirelles, K. Gillieson (ECUAD). Connection Grant, SSHRC. Project: Information+, CAD$ 24,297
2015-2016:  Co-applicant: York U (lead institution), OCAD U, Brock U. Shared Online Course Fund, Gov. of  Ontario. Project: Interactive Design Learning Modules, CAD$ 75,000
2015-2020:  Co-applicant in Theme 3 lead by grant Co-PI S. Diamond, OCAD U, ORF-RE, Project: iCity, CAD$ 2,953,680
2014-2017:  PI: I. Meirelles. IAIGA DEC, Project: Interactive Info Viz Deconstructed, US$ 7,500
2012-2013:  Co-PI: E. Dillon, N. Aljoe, D. Lazer, I. Meirelles. Northeastern U. Interdisciplinary Seed Grant, Project: Early Caribbean Digital Archive, US$ 50,000
2011-2012:  Co-PI: R. Patel, I. Meirelles. Northeastern U. Interdisciplinary Seed Grant, Project: Visualizing Speech Melody, US$50,000

Commissions

last 7 years      

2019
Design artist book Joan Jonas: I know Why They Left for exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM), Boston. Corraini Edizioni. Commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

2018
Curator and designer of exhibition The Art of Networks III. Northeastern University, Boston, MA: 01/11–03/11. URL: http://www.theartofnetworks.com/
Design consultant for online presence of the research project We Can NYC by Francesca Berardi & Grga Basic, The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Columbia Journalism School. URL: https://canners.nyc/ 
Contributor to Chartchecked project by Periscopic funded by Knight Foundation. 

2017
Design of artist book Bharti Kher: Sketchbooks and Diaries for her exhibit at the ISGM, Boston. Corraini Edizioni. Commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. 
Design of artist book Love for Luisa Rabbia’s art exhibit at the Collezione Maramotti, Italy. Silvana Editoriale. Commissioned by the artist.
Concept and design of Graphical Style Guide for Krembil Family Epigenetics Laboratory, CAMH. Work with co-PI A. Norwood (York U),and undergraduate RAs: J. Yao (OCAD U), E. Dinneen (York U). 

2016
Design of a set of visualizations: Toronto Parks & Recreation data. Work with P. Davila and OCADU GD undergraduate students: N. Pilla, S. Tarar, J. Yao, S. Young. Commissioned by the City of Toronto. Private funding.  

2015
Design of art book MDC with L. Rabbia to celebrate M. Diacono’s 85th birthday. Ed. del Pareto & Luigi Maramotti.
Curator and designer of exhibition The Art of Networks II. New York Hall of Science, New York: 03/26–05/31. Also deisplayed at the Foosaner Art Museum, Melbourne, FL: 09/12–10/08.

2014
Design and production of app for iPhone and Android for the contemporary art exhibition Carla Fernandez: The Barefoot Designer. Commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. 
Design art book Nightfall by Hungarian artist B. Részegh & author G. Dragomán. Bookart. Commissioned by the artist.

2013
Design and production of iPad app for the contemporary art exhibition Great Bare Mat & Constellation by the Raqs Media Collective. Commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. 

2012
Design of book Great Bare Mat & Constellation displaying work by Indian artists the Raqs Media Collective. Commissioned by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston. 
Curator and designer of exhibition The Art of Networks. The Foosaner Art Museum, Melbourne, FL: 03/08–04/08. 

Selected Publications

last 7 years      

2020 
M. Dörk, I. Meirelles (Eds): Special Issue: Information+, Information Design Journal—IDJ 25:1, John Benjamins. (total articles:  9; total pages: 122). doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.23.1 URL: https://benjamins.com/catalog/idj.25.1

2018 
I. Meirelles: A conversation with Isabel Meirelles in ExperimentalVisualizations & New Applications. R.B. Stone & L.Wahlin (Eds). Kinetic Emergence: The Theory and Practice of Motion Design. UK: Routledge, 276–280. 
I. Meirelles: Practitioners Perspectives on Educating Motion Designers: Isabel Meirelles. R.B. Stone & L.Wahlin (Eds). Kinetic Emergence: The Theory and Practice of Motion Design. UK: Routledge, 317.
I. Meirelles: Visualizing Information. Flanders, Julia & Jannidis, Fotis (Eds). The Shape of Data in Digital Humanities: Modeling Texts and Text-based Materials. Surrey, UK: Routledge, 167–177.

2017 
I. Meirelles. Malofiej: The Past 25 years. Javier Errea (Ed). Past, Present, Future. 25 Years of Information Graphics. Pamplona, Spain: SND-E.
I. Meirelles, K. Gillieson (Eds): Special Issue: Information+, Information Design Journal–IDJ, John Benjamins. doi: https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.23.1 URL: https://benjamins.com/catalog/idj.23.1
I. Meirelles, M. Schich, R. Malina. Complex Network Analysis of Arts and Humanities. R. Alhajj & J. Rokne (Eds) Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining 2nd edition. Springer-Verlag. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-1-4614-7163-9_28-1
M. Schich, I. Meirelles, E. Edmonds (Eds) Special Section: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks, Leonardo, Vol. 50, No. 5 500–505, MIT Press. doi:10.1162/LEON_e_01485 www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/50/5
M. Schich, I. Meirelles: Editorial: Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks reach critical threshold Leonardo, Vol. 50, No. 5 440, MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.1162/LEON_e_01484

2016
M. Schich, I. Meirelles, R. Malina. E-BOOK: Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks 5th edition. MIT Press (First edition, 2012) > MIT Press Journals Podcast: http://goo.gl/csI8ZG 
I. Meirelles. The Visualizing Spirit in the Twenty-first Century (abstract). In Diagrammatic Representation and Inference 9th International Conference, Diagrams 2016 Proceedings, Springer.
C. Dunne, C. Skelton, S. Diamond I. Meirelles, M. Martino. Quantitative, Qualitative, and Historical Urban Data Visualization Tools for Professionals & Stakeholders. Proceedings of HCI International 2016, Springer.
M. Schich, I. Meirelles, E. Edmonds (Eds) Special Section: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks, Leonardo, Vol. 49, No. 5, 445-450, MIT Press. www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/49/5

2015
B. F. Welles, I. Meirelles: Visualizing Computational Social Science: The Multiple Lives of a Complex Image. Science Communication, SAGE Publications, Feb 2015 vol. 37 no.1 34-58. http://goo.gl/nO6iTK

2014
I. Meirelles, M. Schich, R. Malina. Complex Network Analysis of Arts and Humanities. R. Alhajj & J. Rokne (Eds) Encyclopedia of Social Network Analysis and Mining. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag. http://goo.gl/f2WsIs
M. Schich, I. Meirelles, E. Edmonds (Eds) Special Section: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks, Leonardo, Vol. 47, No. 3, 265–279, MIT Press. www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/47/3

2013
I. Meirelles. Design for Information: An introduction to the histories, theories, and best practices behind effective information visualizations, Rockport Publishers. http://amzn.to/145tqSQ
>In French (2014) Design de l’Information. Trans. C. Vair. Parramón France. http://amzn.to/1sikeoC
>In Spanish (2014) La Información en el Diseño. Trans. M.A. Antolín.Parramón Paidotribo. http://amzn.to/1pF7yEU
I. Meirelles, C.A. Hidalgo, A. Simões. Case Study: The Development of the HDI Tree. Fadel, Spinillo, Moura & Triska (Eds).Selected Readings of 5th Information Design International Conference. São Paulo: SBDI, 12-26
I. Meirelles, X. Sun: Teaching information visualization by exploring their power in engaging users of social media applications. InfoDesign—Brazilian Journal of Information Design. http://goo.gl/6Lg6Rb
I. Meirelles, R. S. Kjærgaard, M. Meyer, B. Wong. The cross-disciplinary challenges of visualizing data (White Paper). SEAD Network for Sciences, Engineering, Arts & Design, NSF report. https://goo.gl/D6UYfo
M. Schich, I. Meirelles, E. Edmonds (Eds) Special Section: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks, Leonardo, Leonardo, Vol. 46, No. 3, 267–279 MIT Press. www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/46/3

2012
M. Schich, I. Meirelles, E. Edmonds (Eds) Special Section: Arts, Humanities and Complex Networks, Leonardo,  Leonardo, Vol. 45, No. 1, 77–89 MIT Press. www.mitpressjournals.org/toc/leon/45/1

 

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

2019
Refereed conference paper presentation: Design Thinkers RGD Conference, Toronto, ON. Paper: Ethical implications of data visualization: A Pedagogical Approach.

2018 
Invited Lecture: The communicative value of data visualizations. Workshop on Statistical Inference, Learning and Models in Data Science: The Fields Institute, Toronto, ON.
Invited Lecture: Communicating Information with Data Visualization, Planning for Syndemics Workshop: Synergies in Data Science for Epidemic Infectious Disease Control in Canada, Toronto.

2017 
Refereed conference paper presentation: IDXVII VisionPlus Conference, Riga, Latvia. Paper: Building Graphical Literacies within the Sciences. Presented with A. Norwood
Award Lecture Distinguished Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: The Visualizing Spirit, OCAD U, Toronto, ON.
Visiting faculty: Early Modern Digital Agendas: Network Analysis Summer Institute, the Folger Institute, Washington DC.
Invited Lecture: Seeing Data: The Proliferation of Visualizations. Centre for Research Data and Digital Scholarship, University of Colorado Boulder.
Invited Lecture: The impact of technology on infographics. Malofiej 25 World Summit. & Judge International Infographic Awards. University Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

2016 
Keynote: The Visualizing Spirit in the Twenty-first Century. Diagrams 2016– 9th International Conference on the Theory and Application of Diagrams. Philadelphia.
Invited Lecture: The Impact of Technology on Information Design in Journalism. Culture Analytics and User Experience Design, Culture Analytics Program IPAM, UCLA.
Invited Workshop: Intro to Information Design & Visualization. RGD 2016 Design Thinkers, Toronto, ON. Podcast: Data Stories
Podcast: Data Stories Podcast by E. Bertini & M. Stefaner: Episode #79
Podcast: The PolicyViz Podcast by J. Schwabish: Episode #47

2015 
Refereed conference paper presentation: AIGA DEC: Spaces of Learning, York U., Toronto, ON. Paper: From Wow to Why: Information Design as Interface for Learning.
Opening Lecture: Visualization in the Media: Past and Recent Trends. Data Meets Viz: Interactions and Interactivity Workshop. Kloster Holzen, Germany.
Invited Lecture: The Visualizing Spirit. Scholars Program Symposium on Digital Culture, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Invited Lecture: Visualization of Cultural Phenomena: An Overview. Presentation hosted by IPAM-UCLA, Modern Math Workshop, SACNAS National Conference, Washington DC.
Invited Lecture: The Effects of Technologies on the Visual Presentation of Information in the News. UOIT, Oshawa, ON.
Invited Panelist: It Is All About Compromise. Panel: Ideation, Cognition, & Communication, Canadian Visual Analytics School–CANVAS 2015, hosted by CIVDDD and CANVAC, York U, Toronto, ON. Podcast: Visualmente
Podcast: Visualmente Podcast by R. C. Lima & F. de Miranda: Episode #03 (in Portuguese)

2014 
Keynote: Learning from Constraints in Visualizations of Information. DH Forum 2014: Nodes & Networks in the Humanities,The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.
Refereed conference paper presentation: IDC 2014: Information Design Matters, IDA, London, UK. Paper: Monitoring our burgeoning discipline.
Invited Lecture: Design + Visualization: An Evening with Isabel Meirelles + Paul Rucker. MICA, Baltimore, MD.
Invited Lecture: Information visualization: a designer’s perspective. Faculty of Computer Science Distinguished Speaker Series, Big Data Analytics Institute, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.
Invited Lecture: Why do we need visualizations? NSF-Funded NetSci-High Workshop, Boston University, Boston, MA.
Invited Lecture: Design for Information: Five Lessons. York U, Toronto, ON.
Invited Lecture: Why do we need visualizations? Sheridan, Oakville, ON.
Invited Panelist: Dialogue between Data-journalists & Statisticians, panel moderated by N. Robbins with A. Cairo and S. Klein. Joint Statistical Meetings, ASA, Boston, MA.

2013 
Refereed conference paper presentation: Perspectives from the Field, RGD & York U., Toronto, ON. Paper: The Pedagogical Challenges Raised by the Burgeoning Practices of Visualizing Data.
Refereed conference paper presentation: 6th Info Design International Conference, SBDI, Recife, Brazil. Paper: Teaching info visualization by exploring their power in engaging users of social media applications.
Refereed conference paper presentation: Links 2013 Conference. MIT Media Lab, Boston, MA. Paper: Data Visualization Challenge: Can we advance visualization practices by creating a knowledge base?
Invited Lecture: Diagrams as agents in information visualization processes. Winter Symposium: Extended Problem Solving, Center for Semiotics, Aarhus U, Denmark.
Invited Remote Presentation: OECD Innovative Approaches to Turn Statistics into Knowledge Seminar, Mexico.
Invited Lecture: Data visualization: pedagogical challenges. Info Design & Data Viz Symposium, NU, Boston, MA.
Invited Lecture: The Role of Diagramming in the Design Process of Visualization. NetSciED satellite, NetSci 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Invited Lecture: Serendipities in Design. Sino-Finnish Centre: Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
Invited Webinar: Transforming Data Into Information. Inspiration Series Webinar, RGD.
 

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Member of Editorial Board, Information Design Journal–IDJ, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Netherlands.
Editorial Advisor, Leonardo journal, MIT Press, U.S.
Guest Editor with M. Schich (UTDallas), Special Section on Art, Humanities and Complex Network, Leonardo journal, MIT Press, U.S.
Member of Editorial Board, Applied Network Science, SpringerOpen Journal, Springer, U.S.