Leveraging Biological Inspiration in an Information Visualization Class

We reflect on an infovis course with a focus on biomimicry that we taught in Winter 2016. This graduate course looked beyond visualization basics and fundamentals and focused on the idea of making use of a biomimetic approach in visualization. As global interest in visualization expands, exciting new research is emerging in many facets of visualization. One of these new directions draws from the incredible successes in engineering, where improvements in many directions including form and functionality are resulting from leveraging the examples from biology, or biomimicry. The course was set in examples of advanced visualization topics so students with heterogeneous backgrounds could draw from multiple disciplines and implement visualization projects using bio-inspired design.


Attitude towards HIV explored with Fireflies by Bon Adriel Aseniero. On the left hand-drawn sketches explaining the swarm behaviour of graphical marks. On the right snapshots of the web-based application for exploring attitude towards HIV.

Chameleon skin, music and mood

Chameleon skin, music and mood by Roxane Fallah. The images on the left show bio-inspirations, with the skin of a chameleon changing colour according to its mood. The image on the right is the physical, ambient, dynamic installation that represents the mood conveyed by a song when played.