The Future of Scientific Knowledge Transfer is Digital
The interactive poster is a gesturally operable multimedia exhibition object used for the transfer of complex scientific content. It consists of a 55 ̋ touchscreen – approximately the size of DIN A0 – which by means of gestural input can be navigated and provide individual access to content. The poster was created in the framework of a research project of the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design Kiel in cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” in 2013.
The research focused on the question: Is the classic printed poster as medium of scientific knowledge transfer still up-to-date? Moreover: Does the poster apart from with its informative, enlightening and emancipatory traditions have potential for the development towards a flexibly operable and attractive medium? What possibilities do digital and interactive extensions provide to meet the requirements of an attractive and contemporary format for scientific knowledge transfer – for example with regard to the short update cycles and the huge amount of scientific content which is transferred nowadays? Last but not least: How does the medium which is being used change the understanding and effect of the transferred content?
The focus of the first poster is on marine geology: seaquakes, submarine landslides and the tsunamis caused by them do not only pose an immediate danger. They have the potential to influence us on a long-term and global scale, as the examples of Sumatra 2004 and Japan 2011 have shown. Among the depictions there is a graph of the Storegga landslide: Through Frank Schätzing’s novel “Der Schwarm” this landslide became known outside the scientific community: About 8,000 years ago, a landslide about the size of Iceland caused a tsunami off the Norwegian coast and devastated large parts of Northern Europe. The digital poster depicts causes, mechanisms and effects of such slides and explains typical situations which can cause underwater landslides. With the help of the poster the researchers want to explain the processes behind the bigger landslides and depict the most important factors which lead to instable slopes and as a consequence to submarine landslides. The research of “Dangerous Ocean” is one of eleven research fields of the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”.
The interactive poster was created in the framework of the core research area “scientific knowledge visualization” at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design under the leadership of Prof. Tom Duscher. This core area investigates how multi-media presentations of knowledge serve not only as the basis for knowledge transfer but can also provide a framework for the acquisition of knowledge. The Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design has set itself the task of finding artistic solutions to visual, communication and scenography questions in the area of knowledge presentation for several years.
- Prof. Tom Duscher, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design [director]
- Konrad Rappaport [concept, design]
- Prof. Dr. Sebastian Krastel, CAU Kiel [scientific content]
- Dr. David Völker, GEOMAR [scientific content]
- Christian Engler [technical director]
- Jonas Häutle [technical development]
- Hermann Hartung [technical development]
- Louise Dölger [speaker English]
- Fabian Heinitz [speaker-recordings]
Visualization of Scientific Research
New core research area at Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design
For several years the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design (MHK) has successfully set itself the task of finding communicative solutions in the area of the multi-media presentation of scientific knowledge, in particular in the marine sciences. While the possibilities for progressive media sensorial realization have long been neglected by the scientific community, this is a special competence area of fine arts and design. With the new core research area “scientific research visualization” at the media center of the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design the Academy is further expanding its cooperation with the Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”.
The core research area “scientific research visualization” investigates a specific perspective on the phenomenon of scientific knowledge presentation: the artistic-creative approach to scientific topics and research and the visualization and presentation of the new research findings. The focus is on existing and potential artistic-creative possibilities for connecting art and science:
- How do we interpret scientific findings in an artistic way?
- How can we approach scientific work in an artistic way so that it becomes emotionally and visibly accessible?
- Which forms of expression are known to the arts and design which represent scientific research findings accurately but also bring them to life – in a visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic way or through performances?
Link to Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts & Design (Interactive Media)
The topic: Submarine landslides
The causes of slope instability and submarine landslides are sedimentation processes which lead to partly inhomogeneous and as a result unstable sediment layers. The poster allows the user to follow the footsteps of science to investigate different sedimentation processes at various locations in the ocean and to observe which types of sediments they produce. With the help of a vertical slider the user can break through the atmosphere and the water column and drill into the sediments. In animations and texts the respective ongoing processes are described.
Which forces and mechanisms are of importance during a landslide? Users can get the answer to this question, e.g. by comparing patterns of different slides. With the help of physics calculated in real time it is possible to reconstruct the different conditions under which natural slopes are created.
Which impact can submarine slope slides have? The simulation of a potential landslide off Svalbard with the subsequent tsunami shows how a threat for the whole North Atlantic could develop as a consequence.
Accurate statistics are necessary to answer the question of which regions are potentially threatened by tsunamis: Current scientific data, for example about sediment thickness, population density, continental and plate boundaries, and bathymetric data can then be compared to knowledge about historic tsunamis, earthquakes, slides and volcanic activities. In this manner a statistical aggregation for certain potentially threatened areas can be observed.
Red Dot-Award „Best of the Best“ for interactive poster
The Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design has received the internationally renowned Red Dot design award for the interactive digital poster used to communicate research topics for the Kiel Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean”, making them intuitively accessible on an 55-inch touch sensitive screen. The jury awarded the work of Tom Duscher’s team with the label “Best of the Best’’ for distinct design quality. The interactive scientific poster is thus among the entries which particularly impressed the jury with their uniqueness. The internationally renowned “Red Dot” design prizes are awarded annually by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, one of the oldest and most highly reputed design institutions in Europe.