Anglian Centre for Water Studies infohackit 2018

Who: Anglian Centre for Water Studies
When: April 12&13, 2018
Where: UEA, Norwich, UK

The Anglian Centre for Water Studies is a partnership between Anglian Water and the University of East Anglia (UEA), which aims to ensure that the independent research from UEA has more impact in business and policy. This second infohackit event with the Centre brought together a wide group of staff and students to create six infographics for an upcoming Centre launch event at the John Innes Centre.

Day 1 – Newts and toast

On the first day, we took 30 students and staff through a series of software training and creative exercises. For their first vector trace, we’d selected probably our most challenging creature yet (even more difficult than the penguins from our recent Cambridge event) – the Great Crested Newt. Although slightly daunting, the group did extremely well, including quite a few who created their own scatter brushes in Illustrator to depict the scales of the newt.

The greatest great crested newt – Heather Bingham
Other newts of note…
How to make a piece of toast

In the afternoon the participants formed groups to continue developing their creative skills while also experiencing scheduling, team work and collaboration. The groups were challenged to create an infographic to communicate “How to make a piece of toast”. The brief was inspired by a TED talk by Tom Wujec on design thinking. The results were incredible, and for the winner we picked a graphic about sending bread in orbit around the sun… creative thinking and great use of new Illustrator skills! Congratulations to creators Sam Prudence and Claudia Martin.

The toast of the toasts – by Sam Prudence and Claudia Martin

Day 2 – The teams and the graphics

Cry me a river (winning team)

Staff / researchers: Ryan Brock, Ngoc Phuong Thao Huynh, Pat Niyomsilp
Creative: Max Little (Tessellate)

Our winning team looked at different attitudes towards river water quality improvements and customers’ willingness to pay. The research behind this infographic is helping Anglian Water move towards a genuinely customer-focused approach – involving psychology and behavioural economics to understand the public’s attitudes on the environment.
The judges enjoyed the river leading the eye through the graphic, and that each of the characters were created by a different member of the team.

Team PCA (policy coalition anglia)

Staff / researchers: Huang Su, Amie Parris, Sam Prudence, Jing Tian
Creative: Dan Hills (Tessellate)

Team PCA also looked at “willingness to pay”, showing how different groups of people shared certain views. This infographic also showed the different levels of river usage in the groups.
We really liked the bright and clean illustration style on this one.

Slug Solutions

Staff / researchers: Emily Lewis, Francis Lau
Creative: Elliot Beacock (NUA Illustration BA)

Slug Solutions pointed out early on Day 2 that they were the only all undergraduate team at the event, but this clearly wasn’t a disadvantage as they produced this superb infographic about pesticides. The recurring visual theme of slugs on wheat provided structure and was absolutely on brand.

Team Hydro

Staff / researchers: Catrin Darsley, Susan Conlan, Alice Dore
Creative: Ben Larkworthy (NUA Illustration BA)

Team Hydro also took a very “on-brand” approach and developed this well structured infographic in a simple colour scheme. We loved the visual juxtaposition of Norwich cathedral with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – East Anglia is a water scarce region.

Water World

Staff / researchers: Claudia Martin, Isabel Seguro-Requejo
Creative: Glenn Bowdidge (Pointed Pixel)

Team Water World communicated the importance of building resilience to the impact of severe droughts in East Anglia, and imagined two scenarios, with and without investment.
The judges were struck by the map showing a comparison of natural water resource exploitation in Western Europe, and a lot of us were surprised by the similarity between East Anglia and the Mediterranean.

The Buff-Tail Yellow Hammers

Staff / researchers: Lorna Blackmore, Heather Bingham, Edgar Cifuentes
Creative: Sinae Park (NUA Illustration BA), Alice Harrey (freelance)

This team looked at how scientists are auditing biodiversity in new ways in Breckland and the Fens informing Anglian Water where best to invest their conservation management efforts.
We particularly liked the wheel of benefits (great iconography) and the beautiful yellow hammer at the bottom of the page.

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