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ILS PhD workshop data visualisation

On Friday 24th March, Prof. Amanda Perry-Kessaris (Kent Law School) ); who was here for the lecture ‘Exploring the economic life of law with sociological imagination, visual methods and experimental attitude’, Leiden Socio-Legal Lecture Series, as a part of ILS 2.0, gave a short workshop on data visualisation for the PhD candidates of the Department of Economics.

The Welfare State - visualised as a safety net.

The workshop was designed to help the researchers to explore their projects visually. According to Prof. Amanda Perry-Kessaris, “It is commonly reported that we remember just 10 percent of what we hear and 20 percent of what we read, but 80 percent of what we see and do; and that over 80 percent of the information we absorb is visual.” Using the Lego to physically build our projects is designed to press ourselves into using that 80 percent.

At first, all PhD candidates found the idea to be a little difficult. How do you express concepts such as globalisation, criminology and welfare with Lego pieces? After some discussion, the creative juices began to flow and they all managed to build a model of where their projects stand.

Clare Fenwick: “What was most interesting was that, through building these models and explaining them to each other, we got into discussions regarding difficulties we were facing and potential solutions for them. We all learnt something about our colleagues’ work that Friday morning.”

All in all, the participants found the morning session extremely engaging and they found it interesting to express their projects in a more creative manner. Fenwick: “Alongside helping us understand each other’s’ projects, it has helped us as individuals to see the various pieces of our project puzzles - and how they fit together - more clearly.”

To understand more about using Lego as a visualisation tool you can read this short blog post.

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