SimplexityCurated by Kelli Evans
Nov 2015 to Jan 2016
Access to prolific amounts of quickly and widely distributed information is a key component of daily life across much of the globe. Unfortunately, our ability to generate information can rapidly overwhelm our capacity to understand it. One of the greatest challenges of the information age involves finding patterns and making meaningful connections from this mountain of data.
Data visualization, also known as infographics, is a powerful means of achieving this end. It allows the viewer to access and understand complex information in the form of clear and concise visual representation. Data visualization is a field that combines graphic design with many other disciplines: data analysis, statistical graphics, visual perception, information architecture, and the like. We access and utilize infographics every day without giving much thought to their ubiquity. They can range from the mundane, such as route maps for transit systems, to the more esoteric, such as the depiction of interactions among proteins in a human cell. In 2003, Philippe Compain defined simplexity as “…the combination of simplicity and complexity within the context of a dynamic relationship between means and ends.” This word and concept clearly describes the relationship between our need to understand the deluge of information we encounter everyday with data visualization, the means to do so.