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Artist Lecture: Karin von Ompteda "Data Manifestation: Touching, Hearing, Feeling Climate Change"

Data Manifestation: Touching, Hearing, Feeling Climate Change

How would you feel if global sea level was rising up your t-shirt? What if you could hold Antarctica’s melting ice sheets in your hands? If global temperature rise was woven into a blanket, would your curl up with it on the couch?

This talk will present data manifestation; the communication of quantitative information through objects, installations, and sensory experiences. This design practice has been developed over the past decade, and is here applied to the communication of scientific climate change data. What are the possibilities afforded by data manifestation to translate global climate change to the human scale, and connect it to people’s everyday lives?


Karin von Ompteda is a designer/researcher/educator working in areas where disciplines converge. Her background is in both science and design, having undertaken an MSc Biology (University of Toronto), BDes Graphic Design (OCAD University), and currently is completing a PhD Visual Communication (Royal College of Art).

Karin’s doctoral research is focused on integrating scientific and design approaches to typeface legibility, with a particular interest in low vision readers.

Working with data plays a central role in her research, practice, and teaching. She has been running ‘data manifestation’ workshops for many years in the UK and abroad with students, professionals, and the public, as well as teaching at the Royal College of Art.

Karin von Ompteda works internationally from her base in Toronto, where she is an Assistant Professor at OCAD University.