AR-679 / 1 crédit

Enseignant(s): Braghieri Nicola, Cogato Lanza Elena

Langue: Anglais


Every year


The eighth edition of Les Rencontres de l'EDAR invites doctoral students to reflect on scientific visualisation, referring to their own experience as young scholars - whether related to their PhD dissertation or to other scentific activities.


INVITED LECTURERS: Fabienne Kilchör, graphic designer, professor of Data Visualization at University of Bern. Paolo Tassinari, graphic designer, professor on Master in Science Communication at SISSA of Trieste.




The eighth edition of Les Rencontres de l'EDAR, entitled "Images and Numbers: Scientific Data Visualisation", will invite doctoral students to reflect on the role of graphics and images in the construction of scientific communication, referring to their own experience as young scholars.


In the specific field of research in architecture and urban sciences, the visualisation of quantitative data through infographic tools has been accompanied since the first treatises, by the more conventional use of images to convey ideas. Plans, sections, elevations, perspectives, maps and panoramas first, photographs and diagrams later, have fueled an incessant debate on how to coherently represent scientific discourse. A debate on how to communicate, to transmit, to demonstrate, but also on how to achieve a practical outcome. The emancipation of architecture from a mechanical art into a liberal discipline required a serious philosophical reflection on the presumed superiority of numbers, incorruptible by their nature, over images, the source of dangerous tromperies.


Architecture and urban planning publications have demonstrated how iconography is not a decorative and accessory entity to the discourse, but rather formulate a discourse in and of itself. The looming presence of figures, drawings and geographical maps has imposed the definition of specific layout codes which have defined the birth and affirmation of a precise 'literary genre', that of the architectural book. Images are not only an essential part of the communication around forms of the built environment, but also of the transmission of the intellectual debate linked to its history and destiny.

The current proliferation of 'user friendly' tools for the manipulation of images, for the layouts of texts and for the figuration of statistical data, has been accompanied by the dematerialization of the book and in particular of the paper doctoral thesis. The entire scientific community is hence urged to reflect not only on important ethical and practical issues, but also on social and aesthetic ones.


Debating on Data Visualisation seems particularly appropriate in a context where "disseminating scientific knowledge" is one of the missions of our school, and where the SNF is explicitly committed to promoting the encounter between research and society, namely by defending the principle of free access to research results.


Images and numbers are intrinsically linked to the role of scholars as scientists, intellectuals and, perhaps, artists. The 8th Les Rencontres de l'EDAR will reflect on this role, opening a discussion on the issues raised by Data Visualisation specifically within the disciplines at EDAR, straddling between humanities and applied sciences, and more broadly in light of EPFL's social and scientific mission.




The yearly Seminar Day "Les Rencontres de l'EDAR" is a public event.
It will take place on May 23th 2024, from 8:30 to 18:00, at EPFL, Foyer SG.

The discussions will be fuelled by contributions from actors of the academic-scientific policies and senior scholars namely, Fabienne Kilchör, professor of Data Visualization at University of Bern, and Paolo Tassinari, professor on Master in Science Communication at SISSA of Trieste. Both scholars and graphic designers, will lecture and discuss with Sebastien Fasel, graphic designer, co-founder of Emphase. They will present their positions on the topic and act as respondents to doctoral students' presentations.




The figuration of verbal discourse or numerical data - in other words, representation through the use of visual language - is an essential issue in all dissertations developed within EDAR. In these dissertations, the challenge of adequateness to a scientific content, and of its clarity, are generally dealt with both by shaping the iconography related to the corpus and to the demonstrative scope of the dissertation, and by creating the visual component of the dissertation - statistical schemes, maps, architectural, drawing, conceptual diagrams, etc.


The 8th Rencontres de l'EDAR invite all EDAR doctoral students to contribute to the questions raised above  through a 15' presentation, with the aim of showcasing the variety of research themes and methodologies in which graphic design and data visualisation are at stake.
PhD Students™ presentations will deal with challenges on this specific subject; and be representatives of exemplary robust technical skill, methodological approaches, artistic attitudes, or tackle the most pressing issues and doubts.


The 8th Rencontres de l'EDAR are organised concurrently with the Open Consultation to PhD students for the Project of a new visual identity of EDAR. On the day of the seminar, the results of the competition will be made public and will be discussed. The aim of the Consultation is to bring out a variety of proposals - also varied in their elaboration - to fuel discussions within the EDAR community, on its own identity and mission. The peculiar challenges of a logo for EDAR, are to communicate what is the core, the identity, and the mission of this entity to a public audience; and to shape the identity of its scientific community towards a shared objective.




Students must register to the course by May 1, 2024. In order to successfully obtain the 1 ECTS credit of the seminar, they must attend the 8th Rencontres de l'EDAR and complete at least one of the following requirements:


1) A 15' Oral presentation. Students must submit the title of their contribution to by May 1, 2024 with a 300-word abstract. The presentation can be held in English or French.


2) Participation in the Open consultation for the Project of a new visual identity of EDAR.


3) A 4'000 word written essay on a peculiar aspect of the issue raised during the seminar and related to the PhD student's ongoing research project. The essay must be submitted to after the seminar (deadline to be defined).



Moodle Link

Dans les plans d'études

  • Forme de l'examen: Exposé (session libre)
  • Matière examinée: IMAGES AND NUMBERS. 8th Les Rencontres de l'EDAR
  • Cours: 16 Heure(s)
  • Type: optionnel

Semaine de référence

Cours connexes

Résultats de