Generate London 2016 Part 3: Data visualisation and processing

The Generate Design Conference recently came to London with Brendan Dawes not only speaking but also running a workshop - the subject being data visualisation using Processing and p5.js. “These things may be electronic, connect to the internet, exist on the web or in the physical world, make data beautiful or simply make people smile” - Brendan Dawes After a playful piece about tiny robots built on his workshops Brendan went big, visualising the size of the U.S. economy in data. A complex and stressful job led to someone asking him how many people were on his team? He replied: “It’s just me at home on my own in my back room. I haven’t even got a ****ing dog!” Next was a video of a live demo. Digital creatures were built on the fly from people’s twitter profiles. For example if someone followed a lot more people than were following them they had massive eyes. Another speaker, Nadieh Bremer also touched on data visualisation, specifically the manipulation of SVGs using D3.js. From simple shapes and subtle effects to complex graphs of interconnecting stats we had another great approach for breathing life into data. Data plays a big part in our editorial content here at, and we are constantly looking for ways to visualize our data in a way that is both interesting but also instantly understandable for the user. Both of these talks were not only inspiring in terms of the visual ideas, but also as Brendan’s focus on fun and experimentation gave us an insight into some great new tools enabling digital artists and designers to work with data easily and quickly while keeping the focus on creativity.