Manuel Lima presents, "Thoughts on Visual Complexity"

  • 28 Mar 2011
  • 6:30 PM - 8:29 PM
  • City Center Plaza, Floor 2, 555 110th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004


Complexity is a challenge by itself. Complex Networks are everywhere. It is a structural and organizational principle that reaches almost every field we can think of, from genes to power systems, from food webs to market shares. Paraphrasing Albert Barabasi, one of the leading researchers in this area, “the mystery of life begins with the intricate web of interactions, integrating the millions of molecules within each organism”. Humans, since their birth, experience the effect of networks every day, from large complex systems like transportation routes and communication networks, to less conscious interactions, common in social networks.

Scale-Free networks, one of the most common topology in either natural or human systems, is curiously enough, a very recent breakthrough. Since its discovery, in 1999, dozens of researchers worldwide have been disentangling the networks around us at an amazing rate. This awareness is helping us understand not only the world around us but also the most intricate web of interactions that shape the human body. The global effort of constructing a general theory of complexity is tremendous and may lead us, not only to a structural understanding of networks, but to major improvements in stability, robustness and security of most complex systems around the globe. Like Barabasi refers in Linked, “Once we stumble across the right vision of complexity, it will take little to bring it to fruition. When that will happen is one of the mysteries that keeps many of us going”.

About the author

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, nominated by Creativity magazine as "one of the 50 most creative and influential minds of 2009", Manuel Lima is a Senior UX Design Lead at Microsoft Bing and founder of - A visual exploration on mapping complex networks.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Manuel worked as a Senior User Experience Designer at Nokia and Senior Interaction Designer at the leading digital agency R/GA. He holds a BFA in Industrial Design and a MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design, New York. During the course of the MFA program, Manuel worked for Siemens Corporate Research Center, the American Museum of Moving Image and Parsons Institute for Information Mapping in research projects for the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency.

Manuel is a leading voice on information visualization and a frequent speaker in conferences and festivals around the world, including TED, Lift, OFFF, SHiFT, Reboot, VizThink, IxDA Interaction and MeshForum.


City Center Plaza is just south of Bellevue Transit Center. Parking in the building is just off of 110th Ave between NE 4th and NE 6th street.

Once inside the building, go up to the second floor. From the elevator bay, someone will be there to escort you to the room.


6:30-7:00 - Networking

7:00-7:10 - Opening announcements

7:10-8:00 - Manuel Lima

8:00-8:30 - Q&A


Note: This event is free and registration is not required.

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