United Nations University – Visualising interconnected disasters

Climate change / Education / Regeneration + community

Visual identity / Print / Digital / Motion / OOH / Social media 

Alongside the United Nations University (UNU), we co-created a visual identity for their flagship research that highlights how the frequency of severe weather events, epidemics and human-made disasters is increasing globally. It is becoming ever more challenging to keep pace with the corresponding changes and impacts. By focusing on ten events from around the globe in 2020 the research suggests that it is crucial to understand the conditions and processes that allow these disasters to occur in the first place, how they are connected, and how they will affect all of our futures.

The UNU is the academic arm of the United Nations and acts as a global think tank. The mission of the Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) is to carry out cutting edge research on risks and adaptation related to environmental hazards and global change. The research is presented in the “Interconnected Disaster Risks” report, a fully immersive digital experience, explainer animation, talking heads interviews and social media assets all of which was shared with the global media this week.

We began the first six weeks of the project sifting through the data and distilling the research down to the most essential elements. We worked closely with the UN scientists and taking the raw data from them to really understand the research, which we then visually reinterpreted so people could understand how these seemingly separate ten events collide and are in fact interconnected.

We created 3D representations of each of the ten events and physically mashed them together to express the interconnections in a faster, more engaging way. This forms the backbone of the whole identity. Each of the events has multiple interconnections and can be viewed by interconnected root causes, underlying drivers, impacts and emerging risks. We produced over 500 3D images to reflect each of the specific interconnections for each event, which can be explored in the website.

Since launching this week the research has already had 1000 media clips in the first 24 hours and has been featured on UNFCCC, Al Jazeera, Reuters and CNBC.

“Understanding disasters and what is causing them is a key challenge of our time. In TEMPLO we found a partner, who was not only fully dedicated to us as clients, but also to the cause. By deep diving into the data and then bringing it back to a design that people can connect and engage with, they enabled people around the world to develop a better understanding of disasters and their solutions.”
– Janine Kandel, Head of Communications

A co-creation between science and design to actively affect and benefit the ongoing ecological crisis of our times.