Data Science Field Experiment

Visual identity for a unique Escape Room Experience about data science.

We helped Birds on Mars – a new generation consulting company and AI agency, highly specialized in data and Artificial Intelligence – to create a visual language for a unique Escape Room Experience. The escape room works as a mobile kit which can be set up in any location. It is designed to create awareness and to make the subjects of data and AI playfully tangible and understandable. The challenges to be solved illuminate the topic from different angles and serve as a starting point for further learning and individual development spanning a wide range from data acquisition and data analysis to current research fields of artificial intelligence.

The brief was to develop an information design that conveys the three key learning areas of the escape room challenge. A primary use case for the design is to work as a billboard for large scale events and an instruction for the game at the same time, without revealing too much of the escape room puzzles. The three key learning areas of the Escape Room Experience are how a data scientist works within the areas of:

  • 1. Data acquisition & Data management
  • 2. Data processing & Data science
  • 3. Model building & Data product

The challenge was to find an abstract but didactical visual language which conveys similarities between finding your way through an escape room game and the work of a data scientist, which can also be divided in three major task groups:


  • Data acquisition,
  • Data classification,
  • Data management,
  • Data inspection

The first learning area Data acquisition & Data management is visualized by a patchwork of dots like single pieces of data that are collected and aggregated.


  • Data filtering,
  • Making connections,
  • Sense making,
  • Creating a mental model

The second learning area Data processing & Data science is about connecting the data fragments, processing them and creating a first understanding. It is visually represented as a mesh, connecting the underlying dots.


  • Generating a new data object
  • Creative Artificial Intelligence

In the final learning area Model building & Data product, a new data model is generated. This new object is visualized trough a generative three-dimensional shape.

The Studio developed custom software that generated the visual representation of the three learning areas. These are additionally visualized by renderings of the actual objects the player encounters during their journey through the escape room.

During her journey through the game, the player encounters characteristical objects and items. These are rendered and color-coded in the color of the corresponding learning area.
Together they build the visual foundation of the design and its first application as poster adding to the narrative of the game:

You walk through rough terrain and pass a fenced area. A kind of field laboratory or excavation site. The area appears abandoned.
You find a letter informing you about a research experiment that could not be finished. The scientists had to leave in a hurry for some unknown reason. It is up to you to finish the experiment. It is about the influence of biodiversity and environmental stress factors on plant growth and photosynthesis at this very special place. About breeding flowers that absorb and metabolize CO2 better than today.

The aim of the design is to work as a didactic information visualization which helps to explain the game before beeing played. Once finished, the poster illustrates the key learnings and take aways. The complete escape game, as well as the visuals, can be adapted for different contexts and brands. In this particular case, the design was made for BAYER, a Life Science company with core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture.