Medialab Prado


VISUALIZAR'08: Database City - Call for Papers (closed)

Open call for the presentation of theoretical works on data visualization focused on the city context. A maximum of five papers will be selected to be presented during  VISUALIZAR'08: Database City Seminar (November 3 and 4, 2008). Deadline: October 5, 2008. 

Call for Projects


Call for Papers

VISUALIZAR'08: Database City Seminar

Curated by: José Luis de Vicente
Dates: November 3-4, 2008
Venue: Medialab-Prado, Madrid (C/ Alameda, 15 ∙ 28014 Madrid, Spain)

Deadline: October 5

With the support of Madri+d

fecyt   ministerio ciencia y tecnologia




Data Visualization is a transversal discipline which harnesses the immense power of visual communication in order to explain, in an understandable manner, the relationships of meaning, cause and dependency which can be found among the great abstract masses of information generated by scientific and social processes.

Visualizar, one of Medialab-Prado's lines of work, is directed by José Luis de Vicente, and is conceived as an open and participartory research project around theory, tools and strategies of information visualization.

VISUALIZAR'07 was held for the first time in November 2007 and explored the social, cultural and political possibilities of the art and science of data visualization. This year, VISUALIZAR'08: Database City will have the city as its sole focus.

Urban environments, which are becoming increasingly dense, complex and diverse, are one of contemporary society’s largest "databases", daily generating volumes of information that require new methods of analysis and understanding.

How can we use the data visualization and information design resources to understand the processes governing contemporary cities and better manage them? What can we learn from studying traffic and pedestrian movement flows through the streets of Madrid? What would happen if we filled the streets with screens providing information updated each moment about water and electricity consumption?

For two weeks, lectures, presentations, and an intense project development programme will involve participants from all over the world in a collaborative process that will culminate in eight new proposals for the city.



Purpose of the call

The purpose of this call is the selection of 5 theoretical works about data visualization for their public presentation during the VISUALIZAR'08: Database City symposium. The open call is aimed at researchers, curators, artists, educators in the fields of graphic design, art, sociology, architecture, urbanism, education, psychology, information science, environmental studies, mathematics, statistics, scientific visualization, computer analysis, computer science, physics or any other field where data visualization may be applied or may contribute valuable innovations.

Rules for participants

Everyone interested in participating in this symposium must send a summary of their research and a brief curriculum vitae via the application form published in For a better evaluation of the applications, we recommend to send the complete text as an attached file, in addition to the summary.

Proposals may be presented as an individual or as a group. Each participant or team may present as many projects as they wish.

Application deadline

The application deadline is October 5, 2008.

Selection process

Winners will be announced on October 15, 2008.

The selection committee will comprise the teachers of the Visualizar workshop, the director of the platform, and Medialab-Prado.

Valuation criteria

● Originality and interest of the proposal

● Suitability to the general purpose of Visualizar and to the specific objectives of this call

● Current status of the research process

● Educational value

Public presentation

Selected works will be presented publicly by their authors throughout the symposium, in 20 minute sessions followed by a 10 minute debate. Selected works will also be published on the Visualizar website.

Travel and lodging aid

Pending application, Medialab-Prado will provide lodging in a Youth Hostel for participants residing outside of Madrid and will consider the possibility of covering travel expenses wholly or in part, on a case by case basis.


Collaboration in the production workshop

An advanced project production workshop will follow the Seminar, as a continuation of the VISUALIZAR 08 : Database City program. Multidisciplinary task groups composed of the author/s and interested collaborators will develop eight projects selected through an international open call. This workshop will take place between November 5 and 18.

Medialab-Prado encourages paper applicants to take part as collaborators in the workshop after the Seminar. The call for collaborators will be issued on October 15, 2008 at Medialab-Prado's website.

Entry constitutes acceptance of all contest rules.


[Download Call Guidelines - pdf]


Image credit: Cascade on Wheels, by Steph Thirion, with the collaboration of Cristóbal Castilla, José Hernández, Ricard Marxer and Julian Oliver. Project developed durign Visualizar'07 workshop.


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