Legal Information Designer & Researcher
Researcher at Aalto University School of Science
Initiator of Legal Design Jam and Consultant
What is the motivation to work in information design?
I am interested in design as a problem-solving activity. I am interested in how people interact with complex information. How to achieve clear communication and help people generate insights are a continuous – and continuously interesting – challenge for me as an information designer. I am not the kind of highly artistic or expressive designer – I am rather the nerdy, picky, inquisitive one. I get my kicks by being of service, discreetly, to the users and figure out how to help them achieve their goals.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working in the emerging field of legal (information) design. I mostly work with contracts, and sometimes with other types of legal documents, and my work is to make them more human-friendly. In particular, I have been working on contract visualization, AKA using diagrams, images and visually structured layouts to make contracts more searchable, readable and understandable.
I wrote my PhD on this topic. I like how this is not purely information design work, but it often overlaps somehow with service design and even change management: a successful intervention requires to listen to, collaborate, and satisfy many different professionals in organizations (civil servants, business people, lawyers, techies…) – or change simply won’t happen.
What is a project you consider a great example of information design?
Just a few ideas on top of my mind – too many good projects to remember them all! The posters of Making Policy Public project by CUP (www.makingpolicypublic.net), Hans Rosling’s Gapminder visualizations; The Dear Data project (www.dear-data.com) and other works by Giorgia Lupi / Accurat; The interactive exhibits in Micropia Museum in Amsterdam (www.micropia.nl), Minard’s map of Napoleon’s winter campaign in Russia (classic choice!); The periodic table and the Feynman’s diagrams (nerdy bonus!)
What is your dream project?
A large, ambitious project with high social impact on citizens and/or business, carried out with some innovative, open-minded, forward-looking organization. Ideally, a respected public organization. I’d want both real impact and high profile “media-sexyness” in order to create momentum and inspire others to follow.