nicolò marchetti
work illustration about
work illustration about

Amazon's Damnation

A visual enquiry on water related conflicts around the world and the dam situation in Brazil.

This visual research project, containing a series of data visualizations and three interactive websites, was created for the semester-long final course of my M.Sc. Degree in Communication Design at Politecnico di Milano.

The first step of the process was to analyze and visualize a broad problem of contemporary society, collecting data from official sources. In our case, it was water-related conflicts.

Then we were asked to map a smaller controversial issue by collecting and analyzing meaningful data coming from social media and the digital sphere in general. We chose to analyze the discussion related to the construction of dams in Brazil, and we designed a website dedicated to public engagement about this topic.

During the first phase, I took care of the research, the analysis and the visualization of the data, while in the latter part of the project I designed and developed the interactive websites.

My project teammates were Alessandro Ferrari and Alessandra Facchin.

Water conflicts

If there is an area where we feel the most the impact of climate change, it’s water. In this first step of the project, we tried to represent how the fight for water can push nations apart, using data visualization.

All the graphs have been created with and then polished with Adobe Illustrator.

A map of ripples

One of the main outputs for this project was a non-interactive, printable map that could give an immediate gaze at the global situation, while allowing to go deeper and find information about specific water-related conflicts.

We tried to achieve that with the visual metaphor of the ripple. This map contains countries that are heavily affected by water wars, and every ripple around its center represents a specific conflict.

A website for engagement

Our final output for the course, an interactive narrative website, is called The Great Amazonian Barrage. We repurposed our research for public engagement and used data visualisation as a tool to take a stand on the controversial issue of Belo Monte dam in Brazil. The output is a design tactic that is meant to expose an issue, provoke a dialogue, construct a public around it.