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Visualizing data with Isabel Meirelles

Isabel Meirelles - Impression view TO
Isabel Meirelles - Impression view TO
Isabel Meirelles - Design for Information
Isabel Meirelles - Design for Information

Isabel Meirelles
Isabel Meirelles

Isabel Meirelles, Professor, Faculty of Design, is one of the world’s leading researchers in information design. Her book, Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations (2013, Rockport Publishers), is taught at universities around the world.  

Isabel Meirelles - Design for Information

In her research practice, Meirelles analyzes data visualization types and techniques with a goal to promote a knowledge base for the study of data visualization. It’s an area of research Meirelles became interested in after working as a graphic designer and art director in newsrooms in Brazil at the outset of her career, after which time she moved to the U.S. to study interaction and motion design. Prior to joining the OCAD U faculty in 2015, Meirelles was a professor at Northeastern University in Boston for 12 years.  

“We now have access to huge amounts of data, and when we’re working with large data sets, we need new competencies for analyzing data,” she says. “Students in graphic design are very competent in visual communication, but we need more literacy around data analysis and visualization.” Meirelles says it’s an important and emerging field for young designers to pursue. “Graphic design and journalism are great entry points, and there are lots of opportunities in data journalism,” she says.  

Isabel Meirelles - Impression view TO

Meirelles is a frequent speaker at international conferences on information design. In early 2017 she was invited to the world summit at the 25th anniversary of Malofiej, an annual international event hosted by the University of Navarra, Spain. The conference focuses on infographics and visualizations published in the media. Her paper examined infographic trends and strategies through an analysis of the event’s medal-winning infographics.  

Following the success of Information+ 2016 in Vancouver, Meirelles is organizing the interdisciplinary conference again this year, which will take place in October at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany. She will soon be publishing the results of a research project funded by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Design Educators Community Faculty Research Grant. The research looks at interactive visualizations and offers a framework for data types, tasks, audiences and techniques. 

In 2016, she co-led a visualization project in collaboration with the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Office, with a goal to inform Torontonians of trends in recreation program fall registration. That same year she received the OCAD U Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.  

Meirelles encourages her students to learn about data visualization not only in the classroom, but also by involving themselves directly in the research. “Visualization practices involve visual literacy, which we’re really good at OCAD U. I try to introduce students to the analysis of data and how to structure and communicate information in engaging and effective ways.” 

Find out more: https://www2.ocadu.ca/bio/isabel-meirelles-0  




Isabel Meirelles - Impression view TO
Isabel Meirelles - Design for Information

Isabel Meirelles
Isabel Meirelles

Isabel Meirelles, Professor, Faculty of Design, is one of the world’s leading researchers in information design. Her book, Design for Information: An Introduction to the Histories, Theories and Best Practices Behind Effective Information Visualizations (2013, Rockport Publishers), is taught at universities around the world.  

Isabel Meirelles - Design for Information

In her research practice, Meirelles analyzes data visualization types and techniques with a goal to promote a knowledge base for the study of data visualization. It’s an area of research Meirelles became interested in after working as a graphic designer and art director in newsrooms in Brazil at the outset of her career, after which time she moved to the U.S. to study interaction and motion design. Prior to joining the OCAD U faculty in 2015, Meirelles was a professor at Northeastern University in Boston for 12 years.  

“We now have access to huge amounts of data, and when we’re working with large data sets, we need new competencies for analyzing data,” she says. “Students in graphic design are very competent in visual communication, but we need more literacy around data analysis and visualization.” Meirelles says it’s an important and emerging field for young designers to pursue. “Graphic design and journalism are great entry points, and there are lots of opportunities in data journalism,” she says.  

Isabel Meirelles - Impression view TO

Meirelles is a frequent speaker at international conferences on information design. In early 2017 she was invited to the world summit at the 25th anniversary of Malofiej, an annual international event hosted by the University of Navarra, Spain. The conference focuses on infographics and visualizations published in the media. Her paper examined infographic trends and strategies through an analysis of the event’s medal-winning infographics.  

Following the success of Information+ 2016 in Vancouver, Meirelles is organizing the interdisciplinary conference again this year, which will take place in October at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany. She will soon be publishing the results of a research project funded by the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Design Educators Community Faculty Research Grant. The research looks at interactive visualizations and offers a framework for data types, tasks, audiences and techniques. 

In 2016, she co-led a visualization project in collaboration with the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation and the Mayor’s Office, with a goal to inform Torontonians of trends in recreation program fall registration. That same year she received the OCAD U Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.  

Meirelles encourages her students to learn about data visualization not only in the classroom, but also by involving themselves directly in the research. “Visualization practices involve visual literacy, which we’re really good at OCAD U. I try to introduce students to the analysis of data and how to structure and communicate information in engaging and effective ways.” 

Find out more: https://www2.ocadu.ca/bio/isabel-meirelles-0  

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