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Noemi Chow

What does a typical working day involve for you?
My working days are generally very varied because of my work as a teaching assistant, research associate and prospective freelancer. In practical terms, I aim to support students in a way that enables them to achieve their goals. As a research associate in the subject area of Knowledge Visualization, I delve into different scientific topics and create visualisations and immersive experiences. On the one hand, I like the variety because I believe in the cross-fertilisation between the different roles, but on the other hand, it can be challenging to find the right balance and ensure that no role is neglected.

Where at the ZHdK can you be found?
When I am not in the assistants’ office, then you will likely find me with the students. I also spend a lot of time in the «Forschungsschuhkiste» – the research shoebox, as it’s actually signposted on the door – or I may be on my way to an exhibition or an event where our projects are presented.

Which topics are you focussing on at the moment?
The relationship between humans and nature is a topic of interest that I keep returning to, in a variety of contexts. I am often deeply impressed by the findings of our scientific partners from glaciology, geology and biology, and not just because they show me how little I actually know about our natural environment. In fact, they motivate me as a person and as a designer to help make this knowledge accessible to others.

What motivates you?
Personally, I find it very satisfying when I can turn a vague idea or vision into reality. Doing this in a way that makes sense, that is relevant and stimulates discussion – that’s what motivates me. Does my design open people’s eyes to something, does it delight and enchant them, or is it perhaps redundant? And of course I am also motivated by those around me, whose encouragement helps me to bring jointly accomplished projects to life.

With whom would you like to switch roles for half a year?
There are many I can think of… but Marina Abramović in particular has been fascinating me for a long time. I actually met her once when I worked part-time in the service industry. Her art is radical, courageous, deep and affects me greatly. Immersing yourself into her world of ideas for half a year must be liberating.

Reasearch Fellow
Knowledge Visualization
Noemi Chow
Photo: David Jäggi. © ZHdK.
Photo: David Jäggi. © ZHdK.