Official course description:
Full info last published 15/11-20

Data Design

Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price (single subject):
10625 DKK
MSc. Master
MSc in Digital Design and Interactive Technologies
Course manager
Associate Professor
Part-time Lecturer
Assistant Professor
Teaching Assistant
Assistant Lecturer
Teaching Assistant
Teaching Assistant (TA)
Teaching Assistant
Teaching Assistant (TA)
Teaching Assistant
Assistant Lecturer
Course semester
Forår 2021
1 February 2021
14 May 2021
Exam type
ekstern censur
Grade Scale
Exam Language
The course will enable the students to apply tools and methods for data visualizations and to critically reflect on data design as a socio-technical process.
Data visualizations are used to get fast insight into a topic, to create powerful narratives about data, make connections visible, and to explore, discover and persuade. Analyzing, designing, and curating information into useful communication, insight, and understanding have become essential in our digital society. Data design has become a key component in how we understand our world. For digital design, data visualizations and data-driven design have become essential, but this has consequences. In this course, the students will learn how to conceptualize, visualize and present data but also to understand the consequences of data visualizations. The course encompasses data design as a circular process which moves between a) tools and methods to visualize data, b) the conceptualization of data and data visualization, c) application of data visualization and interpretation, and d) addressing its consequences. By understanding data design as a socio-technical process, the students will critically dissect data visualizations to explore their inherent social, ethical and cultural consequences.
Formal prerequisites
The course builds upon knowledge from the courses of the 1st semester of the KDDIT program and students should have completed those courses or obtained similar knowledge elsewhere.
Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Identify the knowledge claims underlying different forms of data visualizations.
  • Apply basic design principles and processes to visualising data.
  • Conceptualize data and data visualization.
  • Discuss different debates about the implications of data visualization.
  • Reflect on a data design process and its ethical and societal implications.
Learning activities

  • During the lectures we will introduce tools and methods for data-visualisation; as well as concepts, theories and debates.
  • Individual and group exercises during the exercise sessions where the students work with the data visualisation tools and methods; and discuss and reflect upon the data design process with the concepts, theories and debates introduced in the lecture.
  • We will work with various small cases and current examples, publicly available data sources and manually collected data.
  • The students hand in two assignments - preliminary activities for the final project - and get feedback from the TAs and lecturers.

Course literature

Kirk, Andy (2019). Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design. 2nd ed. London: Sage. ISBN 978-1-5264-6893-2 and 978-1-5264-6893-5 (paperback).

The course will also introduce the students to Tableau as the chosen software for data visualization. We will use the official training videos ( as support material.

Student Activity Budget
Estimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
  • Preparation for lectures and exercises: 25%
  • Lectures: 20%
  • Exercises: 20%
  • Assignments: 15%
  • Exam with preparation: 20%
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
C11: Submission of written work
Exam submisson description:
The students will develop a data visualization project. Starting from an existing dataset the students will produce a data visualization to point out at specific narrative present in the data and will write a report where they will discuss:
- the data
- any pre-processing they had to perform
- the chosen narrative and goals
- the chosen visualization
- discuss ethical and societal issues of their work

Time and date
Ordinary Exam - submission Wed, 2 Jun 2021, 08:00 - 14:00
Reexam - submission Mon, 16 Aug 2021, 08:00 - 14:00