Darjan Hil New Year Outlook 2023

I usually approach the first week of the new year with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am happy to finally be able to start a new journal/notebook with empty pages, but on the other hand, I look back and realise that some things in last year's notebook were not done. I have to carry over the old work, the unfinished tasks, into the new year. What if there was no year-end and no transition at all? Would that mean we wouldn't have that pressure to finish tasks at all? Deadlines are good, though. Anyway, I want to take a try for the first time and write a longer letter. This is my very personal summary of the last year, from which I will write about the plans and ideas for 2023.


The approach: I think we can get a relatively good idea of what lies ahead if we take our cue from the reaction to our posts in Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram from last year.

Portrait of Darjan Hil, the CEO of Superdot Studio

Modular Information Design


Clearly, 2022 was the year of Modular Information Design. We were able to gain a lot of experience and take on so many different roles.

  • as design system developers and information designers
  • as authors and partial publishers
  • as book designers and book producers
  • as book packagers, customs experts and salespersons
  • as PR and communication managers 


In the meantime, over 1000 books have been sold in 36 countries. We are happy that there was a press echo in Slanted, Page Magazine and NZZ. A special surprise happened at the end of the year when the book was awarded gold at the Austrian Joseph Binder Award in the category Information Design. This was later followed by silver at the German Press Agency Award and bronze at the International Creative Media Award.


In 2023, we want to further expand Modular Information Design as a system. New products, courses, lectures and hopefully more awards and press articles will be added. If you too have ideas for us, please contact us. And if you haven't bought a book yet: There are still some book packages left from the Christmas campaign, which you can buy here.


Lectures and classes


With the Modular Information Design approach, we have not only introduced a system, but also a mindset for creative experimentation or as a problem-solving approach. Of course, this is not yet sufficiently developed in the current book. In our teaching, we have found that our method can be used very quickly to reach very innovative approaches in the DataViz field. In 2022, we were able to work out many exciting results with students, regardless of course duration, discipline or semester:

  • BA HSLU Data Design and Art
  • BA HSLU Digital Ideation
  • CAS HKB Datavisualization
  • MA HSLU Design
  • BA ZHDK Interaction Design


Nicole and I have also had the honour of presenting the book as a keynote or lecture at four conferences and events. Below is a list of links with presentation videos.


In 2023, we will continue to talk about Modular Information Design and apply it in the classroom, just as we will write more about our mindset and teaching method. To this purpose, we will publish courses, workshops and articles on our own website and on Domestika. Furthermore, we are very much looking forward to engagements at Swiss universities and at private institutions.


Information design as a service


In 2022, we worked in the background on some larger client projects. Therefore, only a small part of our public visibility was in the service segment. Besides a few smaller assignments (NZZ, AGE Foundation, CMS Foundation, FSO, FOAG), we were very grateful after the two Corona years to be able to start 4 large projects in 2022, of which at least three will be completed in 2023.


This much can be said in advance: In 2023, we will increasingly work with innovative technologies. For example, with the connection of print products with online applications, data storytelling, augmented reality and 3D modelling with data experience. We are very happy to be working with the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the Fondation Botnar, the Velux Foundation, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, the Canton of Zug and hopefully many others. Last but not least, we are very happy that Lilia Rusterholz is back and that our team has been enlarged to 5 people.


On Data And Design


Over the last few years we have held physical events in Vienna, Basel and Berlin, as well as online. This lecture format has also developed in 2022 very well in the virtual space, with over 40,000 views on the YouTube channel.


On Data And Design is creating a worldwide community of data visualisation experts and information designers. Last year's events were:


As all activities in 2022 for On Data And Design were carried out on a voluntary basis in our free time, we have now reached a size and scope where we have decided to institutionalise this platform. From 2023 onwards, we not only want to continue to organise events with the association On Data And Design, but also to initiate new socially relevant projects. We want to expand visualisation for good cases, provide a collaborative space, and work with sponsors and funding institutions. For ideas, funding and committed individuals (anywhere in the world) please get in touch at any time.



This brings us to the end of my first long article. If you have enjoyed this format, I would appreciate a short feedback. Maybe we're getting into a post social media phase where it's back to blogs and website news. In any case, we will publish more content on the Superdot website and see if we are right with the post social media assumption. After three weeks on Mastodon I'm not sure if Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Mastodon itself have much of a future.


On that note, all the best for 2023.

Stay healthy, brave and optimistic.


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