A visit to Decode

We stopped by the V & A museum today, homing in on the Decode: Digital Design Sensations exhibition.

Being a data visualisation aficionado (enthusiastic with some degree of knowledge, but not a practiced implementer), I was hoping for a more data interpolation/exploration heavy exhibition. Admittedly, the balance of data visualisation and interactive/manipulation displays was better at holding an audience instead of data rich displays.

Highlights

  • TI by Casey Reas - beautiful work, but the display could have been better in the exhibition
  • Swarm Draw by Joshua Davis - truly mesmerising
  • Solar by flight404 - very impressive rendering and audio-interaction, good one with the crowds
  • Arcs21 by Lia - another mesmerising piece
  • Flight Patterns by Aaron Koblin, which has become almost the de facto "advert" for data visualisation (I was inspired by Aaron's work to produce these pieces, not quite as impressive)

Other notables

From the perspective of digital art and data visiualisation, the above installations were the start and end of what truly caught my eye. But it would be a shame to not mention the more notable, interactive installations

  • Videogrid by Ross Phillips is very engaging (demonstrated by many under-10s), and allows you to get your faces up on video screen for longer than you might like
  • Dandelion by Yoke and Sennep allows you to blow the seeds from a 3D dandelion using a hair drier. Got to try it to believe it
  • Body Paint by Mehmet Akten allows you to swipe in the air with your limbs and extremities to draw on a projector screen; very more-ish

On the whole, it is a great exhibition - partly for the installations and partly for getting data visualisation and digital design in front of the masses.

The exhibition was bustling throughout, suggesting that digital design and visualisation could fast-track into the mainstream.