Information Design Studio 2

NEU ARTE 335910.01 – Spring 2017

Noah Paessel @ 399 Ryder Hall

Tuesdays 5:45pm - 8:45pm
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A child spends more than ten-thousand-hours learning to transcode abstract symbols to meaning. As adults, we practice literacy naturally, intuitively, unconsciously. Much of the human experience is archived as text. Recent advancements in large-scale data processing and machine learning have given us tools to visually explore the legacy of human literacy in unanticipated ways.

In this studio, we will scrutinize text from unorthodox perspectives. What can surface observations and metrics of text tell us? How can we illustrate the semantic and syntactic contours of written expression?

Distinctions between qualitative, quantitive, subjective, and objective analysis are in play as we examine how machine-guided interpretations of text inform, undermine, or enforce embedded meanings.


Students will leave this course with new strategies for extracting and visualizing quantitative and qualititative data from unstructured text. They will understand and exaplain the capabilities and limitations of current machine learning and natural language processing techniques. Students will demonstrate their mastery by producing clear and informative graphics from unstructured text, and by defending their design decisions.

Weekly Structure

Each week students will be working in class towards a final project of their chosing which will examine the visual representation of text.


The grading system follows the University Policies.


Students will abide by Northeastern University’s Academic Integrity Policy.


Students are expected to attend all classes. Absence for health or personal reasons should be communicated to the lecturer. Tardiness and unexcused absences will impact student grades.


(42 hours)