Master of Advanced Studies
in Interaction Design

Adventures in data visualization 2017



Adventures in data visualization VR edition is a summer workshop dedicated to explorations into the field of data visualization by means of computational design approaches and technologies.

By accessing and manipulating open datasets, the participants design and develop projects that make raw data perceivable through virtual reality experiences. The workshop offers an opportunity to reimage common data experiences into virtually perceived worlds to create new and novel user experiences.

By leveraging VR technology, participants will focus on creating a deeper sensory connection between the user and the data by experimenting with data-driven stories.

The projects can make use of storytelling, experimental, artistic or information design techniques and approaches. Data is the material, VR is the medium.

The workshop activities are based on design and programming sessions in which participants develop a project individually or in teams. The workshop is an intensive educational course featuring hands-on activities and peer to peer learning.

During the workshop tutoring sessions and resources are provided according to the design goal of the participants’ projects. The tutoring sessions point to transfer the fundamental knowledge of web technologies, in particular, of popular software libraries such as D3.js, Three.js and A-frame. People with advanced tech proficiency are free to use their favorite prototyping and development framework, and get support and collaboration on the design level.

Open data

Adventures in data visualization VR edition focuses on the opportunities of leveraging the power of using Open Data for creative projects. Participants will be introduced to Open Data and its ecosystem of values and resources: OASI web, the platform of the Environmental Data Lab of Canton Ticino, will be used as one of the main repository of open datasets available for the development of the VR experiences.

Lake sessions

Evening dives into the lake of Lugano are a warmly encouraged side activity of the workshop. Participants are welcome to bring their own bath suit.

Teachers & Tutors

Fabio Franchino, @fabiofranchino
Fabio is a computational designer and a founding partner at ToDo Creative Agency in Torino. He has always been involved in creative processes, ranging in fields from music to design, passing through performing and generative arts. He discovered the potential of programming as a medium and unconventional tool for his creative purposes. He explores ideas through evolving processes, often finding unexpected, meaningful outcomes and new aesthetics. After gaining senior experience with ActionScript and Processing, he has been exploring JavaScript and web technologies, trying to discover further creative potentials. He has taught in several institutions and has held workshops in his field of expertise; he also organized the first Italian event devoted to computational practices in art and design.

Serena Cangiano, SUPSI, coordinator, @almostserena
Serena Cangiano, researcher, interaction designer and proud leader of the hands-on summer schools in interaction design at SUPSI.

Giovanni Profeta, SUPSI, coordinator & tutor, @profeta_g
Giovanni Profeta holds a Master’s Degree in Visual and Multimedia Communication from the University Iuav of Venice. He is Ph.D. candidate in Design at Politecnico di Milano and develops applied research projects focused on data visualization and interaction design at the Laboratory of visual culture - Interaction Design Lab SUPSI and DensityDesign Research Lab. Currently he is a visiting researcher at Urban Complexity Lab in Potsdam (Germany).

Greta Castellana, information designer @gretacastellana
Greta is an Interaction and Information designer interested in exploring data and technology as a way to interact with people. She holds a BA in Graphic and Communication Design from ISIA Urbino and an MA in Information Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven. She has been living in different European countries and since January she is enjoying her working experience at Interactive Things in Zurich.

Fabian Frei, Lake Sessions Tutor @faebser
Fabian Frei, designer and developer from San Gallen, highly capable of coding and swimming also at the same time.

Marco Lurati, SUPSI fablab, @fablablugano
Marco Lurati, engineer, interaction designer and fabtotum at Fablab SUPSI Lugano.

External lecturers
A group of experts will join the workshop to give online and off presentations that will enrich the learning process. - Giovanni Landi, Unity expert, AR VR Creative Director - Founder at ArchonVR

Practical information


Adventures in Data Visualization is open to interaction designers, creative coders, software developers, researchers and makers interested in doing projects with data. A basic knowledge of scripting and programming language is recommended in order to participate. Motivated novices are very welcome to participate in the workshop. Participants must bring their own laptop.


5 days, from Monday 10th to Friday 14th July 2017, about 7 hours per day (35 hours)

Certificate and ECTS

Certificate of attendance and 2 ECTS



Equipment and materials

We will provide adjustable high quality VR headsets of different brands (i.e. Day Dream). A VR HTC headset and workstation will be set up to run demonstrations based on the use of Unity. Mobile phones will be partially provided.


Workshop activities will take place at Campus Trevano SUPSI in the atelier of Master of Advanced Studies in Interaction Design and FabLab SUPSI Lugano, Building A, level -1.

Special events

Adventures in data visualization 2017 aims to be an event where people exchange information and visions about topics related to design and technology. Participants are warmly invited to give a public presentation about their works or interests during the special events program that will be made public before the start of the workshop. Lugano is a city offering many cultural and music events during the summer period. Here the information about Buskers Festival that takes place from 12th to 16th July 2017.

Registration fee and deadline

480.- CHF, accommodation and food are not included.

Deadline: 8 June 2017

Places are limited to 20 participants. Please submit your registration by filling the registration form.

Registration form here


For more information write to