Two colored diagrams, comparing employees in the German Empire in 1882 and 1925. Includes explanatory text. First diagram is 11 x 18 cm; second is 16 x 18 cm, on sheet 46 x 31 cm. Information depicted with Isotype (International system of typographic picture education), a method for assembling, configuring and disseminating information and statistics through pictorial means, invented by Otto and Marie Neurath.
Statistical world atlas created by Otto Neurath in 1930. Iconographic maps and diagrams show statistical information on a range of topics, including population, migration, indigenous peoples, slavery, labor, religion, trade, natural resources, and the growth of cities over time. Atlas presented in 130 loose plates, contained in a 4-flap enclosure, within a linen-covered box. Includes section of descriptive text, as well as a table of contents. Visual information depicted with Isotype (International system of typographic picture education), a method for assembling, configuring and disseminating information and statistics through pictorial means, invented by Otto and Marie Neurath. Otto Neurath was a social scientist, scientific philosopher and maverick leader of the Vienna Circle who championed ‘the scientific attitude’ and the Unity of Science movement. His views on the language, method and unity of science were led throughout by his interest in the social life of individuals and their well-being. To theorize about society is inseparable from theorizing for and within society. Science is in every sense a social and historical enterprise. It is as much about social objectives as it is about physical objects, and about social realizations as much as about empirical reality. Neurath’s philosophy was inextricably linked to pedagogical theory. His interest in education and cognitive psychology had socialist political goals. Education involves the language of daily life and the avoidance of unnecessary technical terms, and thereby enables organized humanity, including international cooperation (Neurath 1945/1973, 231). Neurath believed that visual education provided a unifying framework that bridged the gap between science and the humanities (Neurath 1945/1973, 234). Neurath quickly gained notoriety with his visual method of communication, which was first known as the Vienna Method of Picture Statistics, and later - in the internationalist phase - relabeled as Isotype. The pictograms of Isotype expressed the modernist ideals of minimalism, functionalism, of design, with the factuality, universality and neutrality, relative autonomy and stability, of the visual with respect to interpretation and cultural references. It had an abstracted, simplified, elemental and Gestalt-like quality. The resulting symbol was both an index and an icon. The visualized concept could be used in charts to convey quantitative information. The signs formed a language through their design: through reduction (empiricist abstraction) and consistency (coherence) in design. For Neurath scientific attitude and solidarity (and socialism) go together (Neurath 1928/1973, 252). In keeping with his progressive politics, Neurath included within this atlas representations of labor, workers, unions, wages, strikes, lockouts, the unemployed, and distribution of wealth. The atlas is an exquisite work of science and art, designed to communicate complex information through simple graphics, accessible across different languages, and therefore legible to an international audience. Neurath was a pioneer of infographics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu
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