Photo by Bibi Veth, 2018

The Visual Methodologies Collective is a research group specializing in visual and digital research for social and cultural issues, based at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries. Our interests lie at the intersections of visual culture, digital research, information design, media theory, data visualization, storytelling, critical making, and issue mapping.

You can visit us at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Benno Premsela House, Rhijnspoorplein 1, Amsterdam, Room 04A09. 

Sabine Niederer

Sabine is Professor of Visual Methodologies and founder of the Visual Methodologies Collective. She is specialised in the cartography of issues and online debates, through visual research, digital methods, and content analysis, with a special interest in climate-related issues. In 2014, Sabine founded the Citizen Data Lab as a place to build collaborations between researchers from other research groups, students, issue professionals, local communities, artists, designers and developers to work on participatory mappings of local issues. Sabine is also coordinator of the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam and part of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, where she teaches issue mapping in the MA Fashion Enterprise Creation.

Federica Bardelli 

Federica is a visual designer and visual artist actually studying New Art Technologies at Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, in Milan. She obtained her MA in Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano where she collaborated with the research department Density Design Lab. She also has taught Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano and worked with IED (Istituto Europeo di Design), the Italian Visual Arts school. Her work focuses on new visual languages applied to research, specialising in information and data visualisation strategies with digital methods. She’s now working at the intersection of digital and multimedia arts, deriving common languages between research and artistic practices.

Loes Bogers 

Loes is a researcher and educator who is interested in participatory practices at the intersections of art, technology and design. She is always wondering how we can make our work more accessible and inclusive. Loes brings a hands-on and experimental approach to dealing with data (the big kind, but also small data, no data or and so called thick data) by integrating her maker skills and artistic talents with her interest in real people and curiosity for their lived experiences. Loes holds an MA in Interactive Media: Critical Theory & Practice (Goldsmiths College, London), and a BA in Media & Cultural Studies (University of Amsterdam). She is currently also coordinator and lecturer of the Minor Makers Lab.

Gabriele Colombo 

Gabriele holds an MA in Communication Design from Politecnico di Milano. In 2018, he obtained a PhD cum laude in Design from Politecnico di Milano. He is affiliated with Density Design, a research lab at the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano, with the Department of Architecture and Arts of Università Iuav in Venice. His research focuses on the design of visualizations in support of digital social research. Gabriele is founding member of the Visual Methodologies Collective and has a long-standing collaboration with the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam.

Carlo De Gaetano 

Carlo is an Italian information designer and digital researcher, currently based in Amsterdam.Carlo is founding member of the Visual Methodologies Collective and has a long-standing collaboration with the Digital Methods Initiative at the University of Amsterdam. At the Digital Society School, Carlo works as tranformation designer on the Climate Cleanup project. Together with Sabine, he teaches issue mapping at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, in the MA Fashion Enterprise Creation. Carlo obtained his MA in Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano where he collaborated with the research department Density Design Lab.

Marloes Geboers

Marloes is a researcher of the Visual Methodologies Collective and a member and PhD candidate at the Digital Methods Initiative  (University of Amsterdam). Her research interests lie in the visual communication of solidarity across social platforms and the sharing of emotions on a platformized web. Her research blends traditional visual methodologies with digital methods approaches in order to develop methods that take into account both image content as well as the ways such content is audienced in networked (affective) spaces. As a teacher Marloes is involved in, amongst others, the International Journalism minor, Media-ethics for students of Creative Business (CB) and data-driven research for storytelling at CB. Marloes received her Master's degree in political science from Radboud University Nijmegen and has a background in journalism.

Maarten Groen 

Maarten is a researcher and programmer at the Visual Methodologies Collective. He is interested in developing and researching tools that empower citizens. In the past he has worked on projects involving open data, intelligent sensory systems and public screens. Maarten is also part of the Urban Analytics team, lead by Prof. Nanda Piersma. He holds a B.ICT in Computer Science (Amsterdam University of Applied Science) and an MSc in Information Science: Human Centered Multimedia (University of Amsterdam). He is currently also working as a lecturer at the Computer Science department.

Wouter Meys 

Wouter is coordinator of the Visual Methodologies Collective and the affiliated Citizen Data Lab and track owner at the Digital Society School where he focuses on data-driven transformation. He holds a BSc in electrical engineering and an MSc in  Information Science from the University of Amsterdam.
At the beginning of his career he worked as a ground engineer in aviation. Facilitating projects with impact, working with data, and doing research on how data could help to empower people are the focal points in his research.  

Research fellows:

Jessica Ciucci

Research fellow, cli-fi project
Jessica is a Social Anthropology graduate (MA) from Goldsmiths University of London. She is a Digital Society School alumna for the spring semester of 2019, where she took part in the data-driven project ‘Right between our ears’, which investigated the communication surrounding climate change solutions in the digital realm. The project aimed at overcoming a perceived lack of consensus in the different visual and lexical registers used by the media, science and general public when addressing the climate crisis.
She has joined the Visual Methodologies Collective as a research fellow on the cli-fi project for Winter 2019-2020, mapping climate fiction narratives in the arts, and learning more on how to tackle environmental urgencies through speculative storytelling. Among her research interests are media affordances and infrastructures, sensory practices enacted through digital technologies, and concepts of emotional contagion in the digital age.

Andy Dockett
Digital Society School alumnus Andy Dockett (UK), who was part of the DSS Climate Solutions project in the fall semester of 2018-19, has joined the the Visual Methodologies Collective for Fall/Winter of 2019-2020. As a research fellow, Andy works on developing the pilot issue of a digital content and civil communication platform that aims to create greater public understanding of highly complex and timely issues. The first issue will dedicated entirely to climate change with focus on carbon taxation against the backdrop of rising populism. The aim is to tell better, more relatable narratives by drawing on the immediacy of data visualisation, the depth of long-form journalism and the intimacy of podcasting. The fellowship will culminate in the launch of the pilot project. Andy is also working on the cli-fi project, in which we learn from climate fiction and experiment with climate storytelling.

Ruurd Priester

Ruurd Priester (MA) was a Research Fellow with the Citizen Data Lab and later the Visual Methodologies Collective from 2016 - 2019. Trained as graphic designer, Ruurd is one of the Dutch pioneers in digital design, innovation and strategy. After many years of working with large organizations on their digital transition, Ruurd decided in 2015 to put his knowledge, experience and network to work for digital social innovation in the public realm. This has so far resulted in the publication Our online platforms on bottom-up urban innovation in the digital age, the cooperative online platform Gebiedonline and a new Master in Digital Design at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In 2017, Ruurd decided to focus on his deepest concern: climate change and the energy transition (from fossil to clean energy). In this effort he combines his fellowship with an active role in initiatives such as Climate Cleanup. Ruurd’s activities can be followed via his personal blog: