Onformative Transforms Facebook Data Into Gorgeous Wallpaper

A data visualization project from the Berlin-based studio turns a company’s Facebook activity into this botany-inspired print.

When generative design studio onformative was tapped to create a piece for German telecommunication company Deutsche Telekom’s flagship store in Berlin, the designers, who describe their studio as being “at the intersection of technology, design and emotion,” wanted to find a way to bring virtual and real-world communication into the project. They noticed that the store communicated actively with its customers through its own Facebook page, separate from the general corporate page, and decided to bring that interaction to life.


Using a set of algorithms and a custom application to analyze four years worth of Facebook data, onformative turned likes and comments into a colorful, almost paisley-esque data tree to decorate the store’s eight-meter long Gallery Wall.

Cedric Kiefer, one of onformative’s co-founders, says the visualization was inspired by botany drawings from the early 19th century. “On the one hand we were interested in the contrast of nostalgic handmade drawings representing today’s digital communication,” he tells Co.Design over email. “On the other hand those drawings are incredibly detailed, offering the possibility to weave data into little nuances.”

Different colors on the leaves represent various types of content, like photos, messages, raffles and links, arranged along the tree’s branches by their date of creation. When the message was posted on the page dictates the degree to which the leaves unfurl–messages posted at night or early in the morning are curled more tightly, while messages posted in the middle of the day are more open.

On certain leaves, like those corresponding to the most commented image or most “liked” link, have QR codes attached to them to take the viewer straight to that post on Facebook, allowing the user to engage with the data, in order to “blur the boundaries between abstract visualization and concrete data,” according to onformative.

Liking a corporate Facebook page has never felt so artistic.

More about the project here.


[Hat tip: PSFK]

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.