Call for Participation

The Desktop computer is dead. Monitors sit on desks, unplugged – hosting layers of Post-It notes or gathering dust as a retro emergency low-light mirror. Visualization is colourful, big, tangible, nosy, interactive, compelling and everywhere. It supports all sorts of creative activity and is key to problem solving in education, science, government and industry.

But how?

What is your ‘imagined future’ for visualization?

We will be exploring possible visualization futures with short but rich scenarios in which designers, practitioners and researchers creatively explore opportunities for `beyond-the-desktop’ visualization. We will be discussing these and using them, and other means of engaging with the future, to develop the community’s perspective on the VIS of tomorrow and beyond.


In particular, we want to discuss open questions such as:

  1. how do we envision visualization systems in the next 5, 10, 25+ years?
  2. is it possible that desktop systems will indeed die out and that visualizations will be primarily used through off-desktop technology?
  3. what would be the consequences of a concerted community focus on non-desktop visualization?
  4. which advances would make such a radical change possible?
  5. how and where are the use of beyond-the-desktop displays most appropriate? What datasets are most amenable to different types of displays? Is beyond the desktop right for everyone (e.g., scientists, big data analysts, social networkers, artists, shopping mall users)?
  6. what is the role and interplay of interaction and novel interaction displays in “beyond-the-desktop” settings? Can these two considerations be treated separately as research directions?
  7. what kind of social settings are possible and best supported by “beyond-the-desktop” visualizations? What kind of collaborations are afforded and best supported?
  8. is there a better name for this research theme than “beyond-the-desktop”? What are unifying features of these currently non-standard displays that could lead to a better descriptor for this research direction?
  9. can we develop a vision for visualization that helps to set goals for research to come?

How to participate

We want to collect imaginative, creative, (even crazy) ideas and speculations on:

  • future designs and representations for beyond-the-desktop visualizations serving any of a variety of purposes
  • interaction techniques that take place in the physical world, or using paradigms outside the “mouse and keyboard” setting
  • technological solutions that could be utilized for beyond-desktop visualizations in the future
  • collaboration and social interaction around non-desktop visualizations
  • comparative experiences of visualizations on desktop and outside the desktop visualizations
  • authoring methods for beyond-desktop visualizations

We encourage submissions in a variety of different formats:


deadline: Aug 31––> Oct 12
Send us your imagined future in the form of scenarios illustrating future uses and forms of visualization

    • whether desired, delivered, disappointing or distopian we encourage an imaginative range of scenarios.
    • 1+ pages in any format (e.g. TVCG TVCG or any other)
    • requirement to be considered for co-authorship of follow-up publications (see workshop outcomes)
    • submission by email to Yvonne Jansen through a webform on this website (more details soon).

Short Statements & Sketches

Submission phase: October 13 – November 9
We invite everybody to engage in a pre-conference idea exchange on this webpage through various means. We will enable a webform to allow submissions such as

  • an imaginary title and abstract
  • a short video
  • graphical mockups, e.g., in the form of sketches or drawings.

Workshop Activities

The workshop will be split in 3 parts:

  1. short presentations (up to 3min) similar to the fast-forward session to get a quick overview of the richness of ideas
  2. discussion of future perspectives in the area of beyond-desktop visualization. The goal is to identify open problems requiring further investigations, and to converge on a research agenda or a vision for the future of visualization.
  3. hands-on: creation of a wall-sized physical timeline of futures by workshop participants to visualize the outcomes of the discussions together with pre-conference submissions (see possible ways to participate)

In conjunction with planned exhibits for the 25 year anniversary of VIS, we also plan to exhibit the created physical hypothetical timeline. After the workshop, this timeline will be publicly presented as a continuation next or near the exhibit for the past 25 years. All conference attendees are then invited to add their own thoughts and visions for the future of visualization.


Before the conference: from 1st October, everybody is invited to post ‘a future’ on this website be it a short scenario, a sketch, a video, or a paper title or abstract for a future article, or …
Until 12th October scenarios can be submitted – authors can choose whether they want their contribution to be named or anonymous and whether they would like it to be available on the website or just at the workshop.

During the conference: workshop participants work towards the creation of a physical timeline visualizing the variety of proposed futures. Posts from this website will be integrated there as well.

After the conference: together with the outcome of the open discussions, the collection of visions will be published in a technical report or summarized in a more prestigious publication (e.g. a visualization viewpoint article) to make it more widely available. We will also explore the opportunity to write a STAR report on beyond-the-desktop visualizations together with interested workshop participants.