September 2019

Workshops. Talks.
Panel debates.

Oval Space
London, UK

encode 2019

Data journeys in design, journalism and education.

A two day conference bringing the creative community together to debate, share and explore the future of data-driven stories.

  • Experience a new intersection of information design, journalism and education.
  • Attend a series of workshops talks and panel debates from industry experts.
  • Meet 350+ professionals in a uniquely creative and collaborative environment.
  • Participate in the debate on the way we read and interact with data.

Tickets on sale now! Early bird tickets sold out.

19—20 September

Part of London Design Festival

Oval Space, London, UK

ENCODE PASS includes full access to the talks and panel debates on the 19th and 20th of September.   ENCODE PASS + WORKSHOP includes full conference access, and allows you to join either of our bespoke workshops held on 18th September.

For company group tickets please contact group@encode.info. If you are a student, and would like to be part of our team, drop us a line at volunteer@encode.info.

Two days of inspiring talks and panel debates from international designers, data journalists and educators.

Workshop with the team from DATA4CHANGE, held on 18th of September.

Workshop with Financial Times data journalist John Burn-Murdoch, on the 18th of September.


Here are some of the amazing speakers, panellists and workshop runners part of Encode 2019, ranging across information design, journalism and education.

Pitch Interactive

Wesley is a data visualization specialist based in Oakland, California. He runs Pitch Interactive, whose thought-provoking data visualizations span environmental, political, socioeconomic, scientific, sport, logistical and technological realms. Their work is showcased in international publications, museums, scientific journals and other obscure digital platforms.

The Economist

Marie Segger is a data journalist at The Economist. She writes data-driven articles, manages the data team's social media presence, and speaks about data journalism and social media.


Award-winning designer, Matteo co-founded the visual journalism research platform at Unibz in Italy, and designformigration.com, a platform that collects projects related to the European migratory phenomena. Speaker at TEDx, Visualized, and jury member at the 2018 World Press Photo.


Caroline is co-founder of Dataveyes, a studio specialized in Human-Data interactions. Within Dataveyes, she translates data into interactive experiences, in order to reveal new insightful stories, accompany new data uses and understand our environment shaped by data and algorithms.


Ludovic is a senior interactive designer at Dataveyes, where he designs interfaces that fill the gap between data abstraction and users needs. At the crossroads of code and design, he develops data visualizations which are both enjoyable and efficient.


Quayola is a visual artist based in London. He investigates tensions and equilibriums between the real and artificial, the figurative and abstract, the old and new. His work explores photography, time-based digital sculptures and immersive installations and performances.

The Pudding

Caitlyn is a journalist-engineer at The Pudding. With a background in academic research and music journalism, she has a B.A. in computer science and is earning a M.S. in data visualization part-time at The New School, Parsons School of Design.

Territory Studio

David is co-founder and executive creative director of Territory Studio. Founded on a love of storytelling and technology, Territory Studio has established a reputation for creatively led narrative design. Today, David’s multidisciplinary team thrives on future vision challenges, attracting diverse briefs across entertainment, technology, arts & culture and brand content.

Visualising Data

Andy is a UK-based data visualisation specialist: a design consultant, training provider, lecturer, speaker, researcher, and editor of the award-winning website visualisingdata.com. He is the author of ‘Visualising Data: A Handbook for Data Driven Design’.


Thomas is co-founder of Clever°Franke, a data design studio based in the Netherlands and USA. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Arts Utrecht (NL) and received his master’s degree from the same university, specializing Editorial Design and Data Visualization.


Gert is co-founder of Clever°Franke, a data design studio based in the Netherlands and USA. The company was founded by Gert and Thomas Clever in 2008. Gert received his Graphic Design degree with Hons. from the University of Arts Utrecht (NL).

Financial Times

Gemma is content director at the Financial Times. She has run workshops with the Science Museum and Somerset House, and is now looking at the best ways to create compelling content using FT’s unique data and editorial expertise.

El Hajj
Refraction Labs

Shadi is a creative technology consultant operating at the intersection of software engineering, R&D and digital art. He has worked for international clients over the last 15 years, while creating digital dance performances, interactive installations and algorithmic visuals at international festivals.

Wall Street Journal

Yaryna creates interactive visualizations for the Wall Street Journal. She is a full-stack data journalist whose daily responsibilities vary from data scraping and analysis to design and web development. Her projects were recognized by the SND, the GEN and Malofiej.


Stefanie is a designer and artist whose work is in the permanent collection of MoMA NY. Her two books (co-authored with Giorgia Lupi) are Dear Data and Observe, Collect, Draw! She is writing a book with Miriam Quick, to be published by Penguin in 2020.


Miriam works with data as a journalist, researcher and artist. She writes data stories for the BBC and co-creates artworks that communicate data through images, sculpture and sound. She is writing a book with Stefanie Posavec, to be published by Penguin in 2020.


Marcus is a visual artist living and working in London; co-founder and Creative Director of digital art studio FIELD. Born 1982 in Germany, Marcus applies digital techniques as a native language, striving to find a universal visual language that reflects a world in constant transformation.


Vera-Maria is co-founder and Managing Director of digital art studio FIELD. As a strategist, consultant, and producer, Vera has been at the core of bringing FIELD’s cutting edge ideas into reality and she now heads up FIELD’s new venture in Berlin.

van Neck
Ravensbourne University London

Maaike is Course Leader BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Ravensbourne University and co-founder of the platform InformForm. Informform explores both practical and theoretical experimentation within the field of information design. It prides itself by showcasing relevant work by students, for students.

Signal Noise

Matthew is an interaction designer and Head of Innovation at Signal Noise. He has been working at the intersection of data, design and technology for over 15 years and is now focused on the role of digital twins in industry and enterprise.


Named one of Campaign’s 30 Future Creative Female Leaders, Valentina is an award-winning designer, creative director, and author. Her work takes many forms – from theatre productions and exhibitions to editorial content and digital experiences. She also leads a series of Masterclasses with The Guardian.

The Economist Group

Angela is SVP Creative Strategy & Agency Solutions at The Economist Group, an organisation that's as data rich as they come. She oversees a global team of strategists and creatives to connect audiences with brand storytelling that packs a punch - and data visualisation is increasingly part of that solution.


Since 2011, Bronwen has supported human rights organisations to use data-driven advocacy to amplify their stories. This work inspired her to identify pathways for civil society to use data for direct impact, and to co-found DATA4CHANGE.


Before co-founding DATA4CHANGE, Stina worked as a journalist for the BBC, The Independent, and CNN where she spearheaded multimedia projects that used data, social media and user generated content to engage with global audiences around underrepresented topics.


Before joining DATA4CHANGE Michael was the Design Director at Beyond Words Studio. He’s worked for design studios in New York City and ran his own studio in Rotterdam, where he also taught at the Willem de Kooning Academy.


Maral is co-founder of international data and design conference Visualized, an award-winning design activist, and co-founder & creative director of womxn-led design studio maddthing where she is currently working on fixing the world one experience at a time.

The Economist

Krystina is a data journalist at The Economist in London. She is also a director at Glitch Digital, a journalism tech startup. Her work was recognised by 30 To Watch In Journalism, DRUM and GEN Awards.


Charles Nduka is co-founder and chief scientist of Emteq which develops facial expressions and emotionally intelligent wearables. Applications of their technology include virtual and augmented reality as well as monitoring treatment outcomes in depression and Parkinsons disease.

Beyond Words

Rebecca is co-founder and managing partner at data visualization studio Beyond Words. A journalist by background, Rebecca started her career in BBC Radio and went on to launch and run a range of the BBC’s websites before starting the studio.

Financial Times

John Burn-Murdoch is senior data visualization journalist at the Financial Times, where he finds stories using data analysis, using words and graphics. Part of the FT's interactive news team, he works as a journalist alongside developers and designers to produce a mix of long term data-driven projects and same day interactive news stories.


As the co-founder and creative lead at Berlin-based digital art and design studio onformative, Cedric directs projects to define the creative vision of the studio. His fascination with science, technology and art fuels the development of new projects at onformative.

Ravensbourne University London

David is a designer, coder, educator and researcher. He creates interactive and data-driven experiences for spaces and screens. He is the course leader for BA(Hons) UX/UI Design at Ravensbourne University London, and the initiator of the research project Data Walking.


Adrian has spent the last 20 years working with companies that combine new, cutting edge technologies with creativity. He is now involved with Emteq, an AI platform that developed a way of collecting, analysing and interpreting emotional, non-verbal data to provide a better understanding of behavioural change.

Stink Studios

James is Group Managing Director at Stink, a global creative studio that produces content, campaigns and digital experiences for global brands.

Financial Times

Federica is a statistics journalist at the FT. She previously covered UK politics, policy and statistics for The Times, the Daily Mirror and fact-checking organisation Full Fact.

Imperial College London

Mark is Associate Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Imperial College Business School and Director of Imperial Business Analytics, a Lab in the Data Science Institute of Imperial College London. His research focuses on the dynamics of social structures using dynamic graphs extracted from text.


Julie Freeman is an artist who translates data from the living world into kinetic sculptures, sound compositions and graphic animations. She collaborates across disciplines to explore our relationship with science, technology and the living world.

Ravensbourne University London

Lawrence is Professor of Illustration and the Dean of the School of Design at Ravensbourne where he leads undergraduate and postgraduate courses in advertising and communication design, architecture and interiors and fashion design.


With over 25 years’ experience in the tech industry and also as trained cabinet maker Ara creates powerful and complex physical sculptures exploring the relationships between gender and technology. She is currently showing at the V&A and the Vienna Biennial.


Connor is the Group Design Director for Fjord Dublin. Connor applies human centric approaches to the design of complex work environments. His projects cover multiple domains including public safety, manufacturing and sustainability. He is interested in how interactive visualizations can support collaboration between human and artificial intelligence.


Wednesday 18th
  • 19:00 - Venue: Microsoft Reactor
    Data Art: Encode Data Journeys opening night

    A converging night will open Encode: Data Journeys – bringing together various communities in an evening that will surely blow your mind. Curated by Outliers in Data Design – a group for women and other under-represented voices working at the intersection of data and design and co-hosted by the popular meet-up Visualising Data London, the evening will present the work of two incredible artists Rachel Ara and Julie Freeman. They will talk about Data Art, with a special agenda focusing on inclusivity and diversity. The audience will have the chance to ask questions to two renowned artists while networking over pizza and beer! The event is free to attend but RSVP is required for all attendees. Places are limited and will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. RSVP here.

Thursday 19th
  • 08:30 Doors open

  • 9:30 Opening

  • 10:00
    Wesley Grubbs
    Pitch Interactive

    Shred the Gnar. How to Ride the Data Visualisation Creative Process: Embarking on any data visualisation project, especially with new clients, is a tumultuous endeavour. Navigating requirement-gathering, contract details, and tone-setting can help to lay the foundation for a project that allows practitioners to focus on the most important aspect of data visualisation – the visualising part! Wesley will help guide audiences through this tricky terrain, making sure they have the right gear, know what to expect and how to adapt so that they can set themselves up for shredding the gnar.

  • 10:30
    Caitlyn Ralph
    The Pudding

    From Story-time to Send Off. Inside The Pudding’s Process: The team at The Pudding is often asked how they do what they do. This talk will answer that precise question. From story-time presentations to topic selection, from feedback sessions to publication day, speakers will take a peek inside each layer of The Pudding’s process, interspersing this examination with anecdotes about projects with varying levels of success, and a discussion on their practice’s unique perspective towards data storytelling.

  • 11:00 Break

  • 11:30 - Venue: Pickle Factory
    Panel debate on Data Education

    Teach them a lesson (about information design!) Encode’s panel on education will examine the symbiotic relationship between information design education and the wider data visualisation industry. Panellists will discuss key examples of work they feel characterises a diverse approach to transferable design thinking and technical skills in the teaching of information design. There will be a particular focus on the theme of collaboration, as well as an analysis of some of the presumptions, challenges and opportunities surrounding data design learning that are addressable in both educational and professional environments. Moderator: Maaike van Neck (Ravensbourne University London). Panellists: Valentina D’Efilippo, Michael Brenner (DATA4CHANGE), David Hunter (Ravensbourne University London).

  • 11:30
    Krystina Shveda
    The Economist

    How data journalism changes the idea of trust in the media. Krystina will highlight the difference between quality journalism as seen by a traditional reporter and a data journalist, summarising best practices of telling fact-based, transparent and personalised news stories. She will argue newsrooms need to change the competitive mindset towards more transparency to accommodate the fact data journalists take greater responsibility as they produce original research from scratch.

  • 12:00
    Gert Franke

    Growing as Designers. Gert Franke – co-founder of CLEVER°FRANKE – will talk about some of the biggest challenges linked with setting up a data visualisation design company as designers. Franke will take audiences through his personal journey in dealing with industry obstacles, sharing his advice for designers on how to be prepared for taking the professional steps that lie ahead.

  • 12:30
    Yaryna Serkez
    The Wall Street Journal

    Dataviz Layers and Visual Complexity. The data visualisation process can be chaotic and frustrating. Sometimes we have to deconstruct it layer by layer to be able to check all the boxes needed to yield the ultimate result. But even when that’s done, could we potentially be missing anything? When is visual complexity justified and when is it redundant? Yaryna will reflect on how the Wall Street Journal’s graphics team utilises and repurposes different dataviz layers to make their stories more engaging and compelling.

  • 13:00 Break

  • 13:45 - Venue: Pickle Factory
    Panel debate on Creative Storytelling

    Is creativity being killed by KPIs? This panel will look at the concept of creativity and its battle to survive in an increasingly short-term and data-driven industry. Our panellists will explore the role that the environment, partnerships and technology play in the pursuit of the holy grail of ‘creativity’. As the worlds of publishers, designers and marketers converge, what can we do to foster a creative culture whilst also proving its worth in business? Moderator: Gemma Hitchens (Financial Times). Panellists: Angela Everitt (The Economist), James Britton (Stink Studios), Caitlyn Ralph (The Pudding).

  • 13:45
    Charles Nduka

    Visualising Emotions: Why this is the only data visualisation that matters. Every action starts with a desire, a motivation to act. However, there is little focus on understanding the emotions that drive behaviours. Charles will argue that the key to understanding human behaviour in disparate fields including healthcare, education and gaming, lies in developing tools to measure and visualise implicit emotional responses. In future, visualising emotions at scale will be as important in forecasting future events as meteorology is for predicting the weather.

  • 14:15
    Matteo Moretti

    Participatory Data Physicalisation – A New Space to Inform. Through the “Data Physicalization” project, the University of Bolzano has translated data into artefacts that are simultaneously tangible, visible and perceptible to senses other than vision. But what happens when this process turns into a participatory experience? Participatory data physicalisation opens up new spaces to design, interact and inform, blurring the boundaries between product, information, interaction, and exhibit design. It gives rise to an experience that promotes participation, democratises data beyond simple diffusion of information; deepening citizens’ understandings of complex everyday life.

  • 14:45
    Shadi El Hajj
    Refraction Labs

    Generative Visuals, Storytelling and Meaning. Abstract Generative visuals do not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of visual reality. They can, however, be harnessed as a powerful tool for storytelling and hold considerable potential when it comes to revealing unseen patterns and hidden relationships. Looking at previous work and current trends we will explore novel approaches to semantically relate form and data. In this outlook, adding an experiential and emotional dimension to data visualisation and turns visualisation into an efficient communication vector.

  • 15:15
    Lawrence Zeegen
    Ravensbourne University London

    Coming soon

  • 15:30 Break

  • 16:00
    Marcus Wendt

    Encoding Creativity: From Creative Intuition to Visual Systems. Marcus Wendt will map out a 10-year journey of self-initiated, creative research, focusing on key ideas that define his studio’s practice – channelling uncertainty and controlling chaos through the use of generative design. Marcus will take audiences on a journey where artificial intelligence is seen as co-creator in the creative process, developing visual design systems to create digital-physical experiences at scale. This talk will provide a fascinating glimpse into a regenerative and geoengineered future.

  • 16:45

    Gazing Machines. Quayola employs technology as a lens with which to explore the tensions and equilibriums between seemingly opposing forces – the real and artificial, figurative and abstract, old and new. Constructing immersive installations, often at historically significant architectural sites, he engages with and reimagines canonical imagery through contemporary technology. Hellenistic sculpture, Old Master painting, and Baroque architecture are some of the historical aesthetics that serve as a point of departure for Quayola’s abstract compositions. His varied practice, all deriving from custom computer software, also includes audio-visual performance, video, sculpture, and works on paper.

  • 17:30 Drinks

Friday 20th
  • 09:00 Doors open

  • 09:30
    Matthew Falla
    Signal Noise

    Data Design and the Autonomous Economy. As technologies like machine learning, blockchains, knowledge graphs and the internet of things converge, will see the automation of many more human activities. It is safe to say the technology will come. There is no shortage of incentives that will drive people to succeed in the endeavour. What has yet to be determined is what the rules of the game should be. If we want agency in this new world, we need to design ways for humans to understand it and to maintain oversight and control.

  • 10:15
    Stefanie Posavec & Miriam Quick

    Friends with Data. Stefanie and Miriam are friends who drink together and work with data together. They produce art commissions and information experiences for general audiences, from jewellery to installations to music driven by data. In their talk they will discuss their long-standing collaboration and some of their recent work for museums and galleries, highlighting their unique creative process along the way.

  • 10:45 Break

  • 11:15
    Marie Segger
    The Economist

    Data, I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down… What does the future of data journalism look like? If we don’t change a thing, it will be male, pale and stale. The intersection of data, design and journalism is made up of men. How can we make room for women and minorities to thrive? What needs to happen in order for them to be able to blaze their own trail? How we can shape the future of data journalism – as educators, hiring managers, and allies – to make it a more welcoming and representative industry. Marie Segger’s talk will zoom in on some of these questions and an attempt to begin forming a meaningful roadmap to a fairer, more balanced industry.

  • 11:15 - Venue: Pickle Factory
    Panel debate on Data Intelligence

    Can we trust (in) data? This panel will debate the different ways in which front-line practitioners in data analysis, visualisation and interpretation unlock information through data. It will also discuss the best practices for using said information to, well, ‘inform’ – both at a human level and generally in businesses. Moderator: Adrian Leu (Emteq). Panellists: Thomas Clever (CLEVERºFRANKE), Connor Upton (Fjord), Mark Kennedy (Imperial College London), Vera-Maria Glahn (FIELD).

  • 11:45
    Andy Kirk
    Visualising Data

    Data Visualisation: State of the Union 2019+. Andy Kirk will chart the course for the trajectory of data visualisation – where are we now and where we are bound to head. Weaving together theoretical, creative and practical perspectives, Andy will look closely at some of the discernible trends and emerging themes that characterise the dataviz field today, extrapolating this forward to consider what might be around the corner. What are the key opportunities facing designers? How do we exploit the next generation of technological developments? How can we mobilise improvements in literacy, both for creation and consumption, across society?

  • 12:15
    Valentina D’Efilippo

    Sketching Superpowers: A celebration of design through sketching. This talk will show how sketching can unlock insights, shape stories, validate concepts, spark creative encoding and facilitate collaboration. Sketching is also a very democratic tool, it’s cheap, fast and easy to learn. Valentina has embraced sketching as part of her practice both as a designer and as a trainer. During her talk, she will share her perspective on the creation of compelling visual narratives and meaningful user experiences – all beginning with sketching.

  • 12:45 Break

  • 13:30
    Rebecca Conroy
    Beyond Words

    Positive Numbers: Data, journalism, science and research are under attack. We’re at a crossroads in time, where some people are choosing to ignore the data that tells us about the state of the planet and our society. The team at Beyond Words firmly believes in the power of truthful data and its capacity change the world. Rebecca Conroy, founding partner of Beyond Words Studio, illustrates how data can be used to help tackle some of the major issues facing the world today, including climate crisis, global health, pollution, human rights.

  • 14:00
    Bronwen Robertson

    Designing for Impact: The Power and Potential of the Motley Crew. DATA4CHANGE connects civil society organisations with global and local experts in data, design, tech and journalism to create powerful data-driven advocacy projects that forge real change. In 2019, their five-day flagship sprint in Nairobi saw four teams tackling topics ranging from online hate speech in South Sudan to online accessibility for visually impaired Ethiopians. Their talk will narrate the journeys involved with the practice’s most notable projects and prototypes from Nairobi 2019, revealing their team’s trade secret – the ability to unlock the power and potential of the motley crew through curating transformational collaborations.

  • 14:30
    David Sheldon–Hicks
    Territory Studio

    From Fiction to Fact: Data in Storytelling. Data is an important part of the narrative journeys we make every day. From science-fiction to science fact, Territory Studio harnesses data to enrich Hollywood blockbusters, TV shows, games, brands, products, and live experiences. In this talk David Sheldon-Hicks will share Territory’s creative approach to bringing data to life in blockbuster motion pictures such as The Martian and Blade Runner 2049, and how the unique demands of entertainment narratives inform the studio’s work on real-world briefs.

  • 15:00 Break

  • 15:30
    Caroline Goulard & Ludovic Riffault

    Human Data Interactions for Sensitive Cities. Noise pollution is invisible, subjective, hard to measure, and therefore can be difficult to tackle. New approaches to data can help address this problem through crowdsourced data collection, representing data by mobilising different human senses, and leveraging poetry to better understand the impact of noise on our lives. In this presentation, Dataveyes will showcase their feedback on experiments conducted within the Parisian metro transport system, sharing their vision of sensitive cities – where data and people form rich ecosystems to improve our living environments.

  • 16:00
    Maral Pourkazemi

    Understanding Culture at Work. Behaviour shapes culture. Unwanted, inappropriate behaviour creates a culture that feeds fear – fear that experiences will be doubted, feelings invalidated, and careers derailed. Unhealthy workplace culture can be notoriously hard to identify or address because its underlying behaviours often aren’t reported. Employees don’t always tell HR about incidents that make them feel unhappy or unsafe. This creates ‘grey zones’ – serious yet unreported incidents that over time lead to unexpected employee turnover. Maral will discuss a tool that is able to identify problems before they occur, so that employers are better able to protect their workforce. The tool works to educate employees while providing a safe, anonymous space to report incidents.

  • 16:30
    Cedric Kiefer

    Dancing with Datasets: At The Intersection of Art, Design and Technology. Data is everywhere – where it can be a diffuser for some, it inspires others to search for new forms of visual expression. There now exists a blossoming spectrum of creative approaches to depicting data. In his talk, Cedric Kiefer from onformative will discuss the possibilities that lie at the intersection of art, design and technology – exploring the different dimensions to visualising data, in contrast with generating interesting data for aesthetic output. He will talk about a number of data-driven projects that all share one feature – a human touch in a technical realm.

  • 17:00 Closing remarks


ENCODE PASS + WORKSHOP ticket holders get access to one of our exclusive workshops on September 18th, a day before the conference kicks off.

Financial Times

Through a series of hands-on exercises, Financial Times data visualization journalist John Burn-Murdoch and statistics journalist Federica Cocco will show you how to combine disparate information sources into a single compelling message, and how to communicate it effectively to a mass audience while working in groups.

Buy tickets

Learn how to design creative and powerful data-driven projects from scratch. You’ll be supporting a real human rights organisation from the DATA4CHANGE network, turning insights from their data into concepts and visual assets that they can use in their advocacy work.

Buy tickets


Oval Space
+ Pickle Factory

Located in the heart of East London, within the vicinity of Old Street and Liverpool Street, the Oval Space and Pickle Factory are easy to get to by National Rail and London Underground.

Get directions

Get updates
straight to
your inbox.

Our partners