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Data Image Lab

The Data Image Lab is engaged in specialist research and practice relating to the production, examination and visual manifestation of data, and with their intersections with society, arts, design, technology, sciences and enterprise. The Lab’s main mission is to enrich our critical and conceptual understanding of data and society, facilitating and enabling interdisciplinary dialogue with a range of partners through the application of art and design research methods.

The art school setting provides an innovative site of production and expertise, enabling a wide range of work and creative experimentation in the areas of visual communication, data-driven art, human-data interaction and data visualisation, through a dynamic and makerly approach. The Lab extends beyond diagrammatic data visualisation and information design, taking a critical and creative approach towards data, with inquiry into the interdependence between data and image.

Working with researchers and practitioners across all areas of the sciences, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, as well as with partners in business, social and civic enterprise, the creative and cultural spheres, and the third sector, the Lab provides collaborators with the opportunity to enter into a more reflective, deliberative, and dialogic ‘space’ to enhance and stimulate new research and advances in knowledge through and around data. The work of the Lab responds directly to the UK’s industrial strategy ‘grand challenge’ of artificial intelligence and data, but equally connects with the growing everyday presence of data, considering both its rewards and its problematics.

Central, then, to the Lab’s operation – in working with a range of partners – is the application of art and design inquiry methods to enrich our critical and conceptual understanding of data and society. Underpinned by methods that foster an exploratory approach to data gathering, datasets and data processing, the Lab aims to better understand and actively engage with structures of information, while discovering and disseminating insights through production and presentation techniques that are innovative and grounded in research.


Jane Birkin
Co-director of the Data Image Lab

Vanissa Wanick
Co-director of the Data Image Lab

Winchester School of Art
University of Southampton
Park Avenue, Winchester, SO23 8DL