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December 17 - 19
National Institute of Design
Maria Gonzalez De Cossio

Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Diseño, CEAD/UAM-C
San Pedro Cholula, Mexico

Maria Gonzalez de Cossio did her Phd in Information Design at the University of Reading, UK and is currently lecturer and researcher at the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana–Cuajimalpa in Mexico City. Maria has published in IDJ, Visible Language, and Digital Creativity.

Lourdes Fuentes studied Graphic and Information Design at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla where she is now a lecturer while continuing her studies in philosophy.

Both are working as consultants at the Centre of Advanced Studies in Design, Mexico, where they have developed projects on medicine instructions, electoral forms, processes for electronic administration, and other editorial and web design issues.


Visualising Complex Data
Interactive Tools to Create Awareness

Social mobility has been a topic that we have worked on for some time, because we want to contribute - as designers, in some way to diminish the social and economic inequality in Mexico.
We have been designing graphs that should provoke logical, ethical and emotional responses in both low socio-economic level population, with little education, as well as in educated people; the objective is to make less educated people aware of the importance of education to move forward, and to make policy makers realize the importance of considering these issues as part of their political agenda. The results will be used to set up an exhibition at the Interactive Economics Museum in Mexico City.

We developed eight significant graphs that deal with various social topics, such as women's education and labour activity, education related to economic income, intergenerational social mobility in Mexico, and the comparison with other countries. We worked in an interdisciplinary team, applied an analytical process, developed prototypes and tested them to verify their effectiveness. The theoretical background of our work is rooted in design and psychology.

The graphs were tested among low literacy and high literacy adults. The results showed that these graphs were meaningful to both groups; they also reinforced the importance of showing such graphs to primary and secondary school teachers and parents. Seeing themselves reflected in the various images has been rather shocking for some students, making them think about their future and their possibility to climb the socio economic ladder. These studnets suggested also to show the diagrams to policy makers.
The ultimate object of our project is to make 'social mobility' an issue in the political and public agenda.

Next steps are to develop an itinerant exhibition form these graph; working with an interdisciplinary team, we will adjust the graphs for an interactive environment.

Fundación Espinosa Rugarcía, Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (2008). Nos movemos La Movilidad Social en México. February, 2009.

González de Cossío, M. (2008). Nuevas etiquetas de medicamentos para apoyar la automedicación. El caso de un analgésico pediátrico in salud Pública de México, 50, 453-462.

González de Cossío, M. (2009). Comunicación estratégica en actas electorales: El diseño de información y sus implicaciones políticas in J.A., Meyer (Ed.)

Comunicación estratégica: Nuevos horizontes de estudio. México: AMIC, UPAEP, Fundación Manuel Buendía. (in press)

Haller, M., & Hadler, M. (2006). How social relations and structures can produce happiness and unhappiness: An international comparative analysis. Social Indicators Research 75, 169–216.

Kosslyn, S. M. (2006). Graph design for the eye and mind. New York: Oxford University Press.

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Animation as an aid to multimedia learning. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 87-99.

Neurath, O. (1933). Museums of the future. Survey graphic 22(9), quoted in Twyman, M. (1975). The significance of Isotype. UK: University of Reading.

Neurath, M. (1974). Isotype. Instructional Science, 3(2), 136, quoted in Neurath, M., and Kinross, R. (2009). The Transformer. Principles of Making Isotype charts. London: Hyphen Press, 77-78.

Rogers, D., Shulman, A., Sless, D., & Beach, R. (1995). Designing better medicine labels. Canberra, Communication Research Institute of Australia.

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