Data Vizualisation


Atlante Calvino - Letteratura e Visualizzazione

🚧 Work in progress Atlas

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Excerpt from: “Atlante Italo Calvino: letteratura e visualizzazione The project “Atlante Italo Calvino: letteratura e visualizzazione” aims to conduct a series of in-depth research on Italo Calvino’s works through the field of Digital Humanities and, in particular, through instruments for data visualization and exploration made available by new technologies. Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de Las Vegas in 1923 and died in Siena in 1985. He is probably the most well-known and studied author in contemporary Italian literature. The international stature of his reputation, the endless critical bibliography of his works, and the experimental variety of his writing, make him a perfect case study for a research project based on the scientific contribution that data visualization can offer to literary studies. The project is characterized by the close cooperation between the team specialized in Italian literary studies from the Université de Genève and DensityDesign Research Lab of Politecnico di Milano, specialized in the design of communication artifacts and data visualization. The two “souls” of the project, the literary and the graphic/digital, are meant to blend in order to find new, effective solutions to the exemplary case of Italo Calvino’s works. The primary purpose of this research is the opportunity to create a connection between a specific literary object and the analysis of complex systems through visualization.


  • Université de Genève
  • Francesca Serra
  • Valeria Cavalloro
  • Virginia Giustetto
  • Margherita Parigini
  • DensityDesign Research Lab
  • Michele Mauri
  • Tommaso Elli
  • Ángeles Briones
  • Beatrice Gobbo
  • Gabriele Colombo
  • Marco Pappalepore
  • Serena Del Nero
  • Paolo Ciuccarelli
  • Mauro Bianchi

The pratical work will consist in the creation of a web platform that allows viewers to explore the writer’s well-known works from a new standpoint: a number of visual elaborations referring to questions posed about Calvino’s works. The first phase of the research will be aimed at defining the methodology and collecting data: the two teams will be engaged in the identification of the most interesting phenomena recurring in Calvino’s texts and of the visual solutions most suitable to represent and explore them interactively. This phase will be followed by the design of the web platform and the preparation of accompanying critical profiles to supplement the visual part. The effectiveness of the results obtained in these phases will be put to the test with two workshops to be held at the end of each of the first two years of the project. Moreover, during the third year, there will be two public presentations of the web platform toward the project’s conclusion. Regarding the scientific impact of this research, the union between one of the fundamental authors of 20th century literature and an innovative methodology of study would like to offer a valid example of research in the field of Digital Humanities 2.0, so that it can contribute to the current need for the renovation of literary studies. The scientific impact of the project, together with its educational, aesthetic and communication qualities, will offer a new “visual narration” of the author.