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Understanding Shakespeare

Since 2003, I am a Professor for Interaction Design at the Interface Design Department of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP). Here you can find some results of my activities at the University.

Stephan Thiel:
Understanding Shakespeare

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Year: 2010
Students: Stephan Thiel
Supervisors: Matthias Krohn, Boris Müller

The goal of the project »Understanding Shakespeare« is to introduce a new form of reading drama to help understand Shakespeare’s works in new and insightful ways and to address our changed habits of consuming narrative works and knowledge through the capabilities of information visualization.

As a result, and based on data from the WordHoard project of the Northwestern University, an application of computational tools was explored in order to extract and visualize the information found within the text and to reveal its underlying narrative algorithm. The five approaches are the first step towards a dicussion of this potentionally new form of reading in an attempt to regain interest in the literary and cultural heritage of Shakespeare’s works among a general audience.

The visualizations were designed as large scale prints (90cm x ca. 220cm) for an exhibition scenario that would enable a broad audience to re-understand Shakespeare. They were created using mainly Processing and toxiclibs (for geometry and color calculations) as well as several other Natural Language Processing libraries (i.e. Classifier4J). Please be aware that the experience of these works might differ substantially between the web and the original printed version.