How do you describe your lab to visitors? The Urban Complexity Lab is an interdisciplinary research space at FH Potsdam (University
of Applied Sciences) situated between
design, computer science, and the
humanities. Our work largely revolves
around information visualization and
interaction design with a particular
focus on the challenges and questions
arising from cultural and urban
transformations. Our mission is to
develop a responsible approach toward
data and to study innovative methods
for interactive visualization to make
sense of complex datasets, especially in
the contexts of digital humanities and
What is a unique feature of your lab?
Within the university, the lab is a
collaboration between the Department
of Design and the Urban Futures
Institute for Applied Research. At
the junction of design teaching and
visualization research, we strive to have
an impact in both academia and the
wider world of practice. For the physical
and social space of the lab, our ambition
is to cultivate a stimulating environment
for an interdisciplinary community of
designers, developers, and researchers
that reaches out to citizens, cultural
institutions, administration, and
businesses. We are keen to share our
work with the broader public via social
media, online demos, and events such
as exhibitions, and with our academic
peers through conferences and journals.
How many people are in the lab, and
what is the mix of backgrounds and
roles? Our group distinguishes itself by
being particularly diverse with regard
to discipline and levels of experience.
We are currently nine researchers
with backgrounds in interaction
design, computer science, cultural
studies, and information science.
From undergraduate researchers to
professors, our team also intentionally
features a broad mix of seniority.
Based on our teaching in the design
program, we regularly invite B. A.
and M. A. students, as well as recent
alumni, to work on their own research
projects or get involved in ongoing
research initiatives in the lab. Over the
brief course of the lab’s existence (just
Urban Complexity Lab
As told by Marian Dörk, Boris Müller, Stephanie Neumann,
Johannes Herseni, Katrin Glinka, Katja Dittrich,
Christopher Pietsch, Linda Freyberg, and Jan-Erik Stange
→ The large displays are just for decoration.
The lab is a mobile-first workplace.