A week full of information graphics

Malofiej 20 – University of Navarra. Pamplona. Spain – 18-23 March

This year I was pleased to attend the Malofiej Infographic World Summit and conferences. It was an honour to have been invited as judge and speaker to this special 20th edition. Overall six intense days, thousand of stories, crazy weather, tones of food, amazing people, loads of learning experiences and reflections. I will share some analytical insights in forthcoming posts, but not today. Today I would like to share five points which made last week an unforgettable experience:

1. The entries. This was the year of more entries in the history of the awards,1513 interactive and print information graphics and maps. Countries from almost all continents submitted entries created from different and similar contents, and produced with a wide range of techniques, styles, and formats. I never thought before I will have the opportunity to see this number of infographics at the same time. I was happy to see that this way of (visual) communication seems to have an increasing presence also in the smallest media.

A tiny part of the 1513 entries

2. The jury. It was my first time as a member of a jury in an information graphics competition. Rich and deep discussions took place during the first four days of the week, from which I learnt new perspectives and points of view about information graphics, journalism, aesthetics, and more technical aspects. Experts from different approaches to information graphics integrated the jury (including cartography, journalism, graphic design, information design, data visualisation). As a result each of us looked at the entries from a particular, but complementing perspective.

Left to right: Matthew Bloch, Andrew Vande Moere, Andy Kirk, Robert Kosara, Moritz Stefaner, Carl de Torres, Bryan Christie, Sheila Pontis, Nigel Holmes, Anne Gerdes, Virginia Mason and Sergio Peçanha (Mario Tascón and Gonzalo Peltzer also members of the jury, but not in the photo)

3. The lectures. I would like to mention the high level of the talks. Different styles, subject areas and aesthetics, but, once again, all of them added essential thoughts and perspectives to illuminate the broad and complex field of information graphics and visual communication.

4. The food. This is not a joke. I ate more last week than in the previous months of the year! I have forgotten about Spanish food, and thus I didn’t bring with me any Tupperware. I will be prepared next time.

5. The people. I met the loveliest group of people ever. A BIG thank-you to organising members and students for making me feel like home.  Another BIG thank-you to the judges and ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ instructors for the support during each day of the week, the walks, the talks, the working hours, and the discussions.

Thank You!

PS: I couldn’t help but smile earlier today while I walked through the groceries shop and saw a leek :)

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