About us

Visualize Change, Heads Up

HeadsUp! is an international competition challenging designers to visualize critical global issues and create a shared sign for the public square. Working with global data on issues such as global groundwater levels, climate change and ocean acidification, designers will create a series of visual displays to translate abstract metrics into recognizable and actionable news.  It is an opportunity to transform planetary data into a common sign combining the metaphorical power of the Doomsday Clock with the authority of data visualization and the immediacy of activist electronic billboards:  a HeadsUP! Display for the planet.

heads up times square

The inaugural HeadsUP! competition

produced in collaboration with Visualizing.org, challenges designers to Visualize Global Groundwater Levels with the winning visualization to be displayed on Times Square2, Thomson Reuters/NASDAQ digital signboards in Times Square. This is the first of a series of challenges to be implemented across a spectrum of physical and mobile media.

Created in 2010 by Peggy Weil, HeadsUP! was announced at a panel at PICNIC Amsterdam with Dale Herigstad of Possible Worldwide, Steve Hayden of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Usman Haque of Haque Design + Research and Dr. Carlo Buontempo, MET Office UK to explore the notion that designers are uniquely experienced in transforming unfamiliar substances at unimaginable scales into clear and compelling messages. Advances in data visualization, the embrace of social networks and mobile platforms coupled with virtual and augmented realities offer new opportunities to create trusted beacons indicating global issues.