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DSGN 426: Whole-brain Communication (1/2 unit)

Quarter Offered

Winter : 2nd 5 weeks of the quarter, 1st year MMM, Sec 1:Mon/Thurs, 1:30-3:00pm, OR, Sec 2: Mon/Thurs, 3:30-5:00pm; ITW Classroom ; Steve Franconeri


This course can only accommodate MMM students.


Present your ideas and solutions – and the data that motivates them – in a manner that is engaging, clear, and memorable. Presentations and explanations typically overwhelm an audience’s limited capacity for new information, by directing
​it to a ​limited part of the brain. Learn to communicate to the whole brain, by turning verbal messages to salient visuals, expressing abstract numbers as sensorimotor objects, leveraging existing association networks, and telling immersive stories. Learn to perform data analytics with the power of your visual system (including a primer on Tableau), and how to show the patterns that you discover to ​others. Techniques will be grounded in cognitive science – why our brains are limited in perceiving, learning, and storing information – as well as research in data visualization, and principles of graphic design. Course grading will be based on projects, quizzes on readings, class attendance & participation, and peer critiques.

Learn more about the instructor, Steve Franconeri.

Fall 2020 Syllabus Back to top