23-year-old autistic student Jory Fleming and Dutch astronomer turned data designer Nadieh Bremer were amongst the winners of this year’s international Information is Beautiful Awards, which celebrate global excellence in data visualisation, infographics and information design.
There was US$20,000 up for grabs for winners and runners-up across eight subject categories, which are Current Affairs & Politics; Sports, Games & Leisure; People, Language & Identity; Environments & Maps; Humanitarian & Global; Arts,Entertainment & Pop Culture; Unusual; and Science & Technology. There were also five special awards handed out, with a US$1,000 prize, for Best Individual, Best Studio, Best Non-English, Rising Star, and Visitors’ Vote.
Covering both the topical and the unusual, gold-winning entries this year tackled everything from the journey of freedom fighters and the Nuclear Threat, to the trajectory of science careers, the unlikely odds of a band making it big, and food search trends on Google. Certain themes emerged throughout the entries, such as Trump, climate change and gender.
Dutch astronomer turned data designer Nadieh Bremer picked up gold for Best Individual, having also been recognised for her work in the Unusual (gold) and Science and Technology (silver) categories; Density Design Lab were named Best Studio, in addition to awards for both their Current Affairs and Politics (gold) and Humanitarian & Global (silver) entries; and a stand-out submission on gerrymandering won 23-year-old Rhodes Scholar and University of Oxford Student, Jory Fleming, the Rising Star award.
Judging was led by a global panel of experts drawn from a range of sectors, from arts and media to health and technology, and chaired by awards founder David McCandless. A public online vote was also held to decide the Visitor’s Vote award.
David McCandless, Awards founder and author of Information is Beautiful, said: ‘In this era of ‘fake news’ and social media overload, data visualization is one of the most powerful ways to get to the truth behind complex stories. This year’s winners show that data graphics can illuminate complex topics like migration, the gender pay gap and climate change. But are also just as suited to fun topics like the artistry of craft beer, fixing toilets and the Italian surfing scene.’
‘Experienced data storytellers should watch out though - some of the year’s most brilliant work comes from students. It’s a particular honour for me that the Awards supports up and coming creators: I’m delighted that last year’s Rising Star, Nadieh Bremer, has won this year’s Outstanding Individual.’
Taking home gold in the People, Language and Identity category were Thu-Huong Ha & Nikhil Sonnad, Quartz for ‘How people draw a circle’ – analysing hundreds of thousands of people who played Google’s game Quick, Draw! to show how culture shapes our instincts. Meanwhile, the top spot in the Arts category went to Russell Goldenberg & Dan Kopf, The Pudding, for their entry, ‘The unlikely odds of making it big’ (‘what three years and 75,000 shows in New York tell us about the chance your favorite band will succeed’).
A record 787 entries were submitted this year (50% more than last year) by creators ranging from leading media publishers and design agencies, all the way through to solo practitioners and students. The award ceremony tonight was a well-attended and fun-filled soiree, held in the home of the London Symphony Orchestra, St. Luke's – an 18th-century Grade 1 listed Hawksmoor church.
View the full list of winners here.