interfacing societies and new technologies

prise de note collaborative







This is a side project we are investigating with some friends in order to see if contemporary machine learning methods such as word2vec can be used to produce social mapping with layers of complexity.

Distributed computing over core grids is also a playground to look at viability of reading maps based on networks. After a simple statement formalization it is easy to see if hypothesis are strong over ten of thousands of different maps produced with the same corpus and samples of that corpus.



Convergences is a web visualization of convergences and divergences between the different languages of wikipedia as a proxy of distances between cultures.

The python code to reproduce the experiment can be found in this github repository. It relies heavily on the wekeypedia python library and is a good example of how collective intelligence can be hidden in the network of links and metadata.





cortext manager

The goal of the cortext manager platform is to deliver a ready-to-go tool for humanities and social sciences researchers to perform text analysis over big corpora. Beside integrated text mining algorithms, the main up value was the integration of network visualization and mapping.

In this context, my task was to drive the design and development of the plaform through service design analysis and information architecture.

Voices of Transition


We are proud to have very modestly contributed to the crowd-sourced production of Nils Aguilar's film : voices of transition.

If you are interested in permaculture, transition or food sovereignty, this documentary is must-check and must-support !



The project

Contacted by the UN Global Pulse initiative, we were part of research dream team composed of scientits affiliated to ISC-PIF and IFRIS.

We have then been asked to build a prototype using real-time data to monitor world-wide issue of our choice. By common concerns, we chose to work on the problem of media framing of the food security public issue.

The system

The result is a stand alone website : pulseweb

We are still about writing scientific articles about the algorithm and the analys. Stay tuned (:

The code

The website source code is available on github : taniki/pulseweb. It relies mainly on python for the server part and javascript (paperjs) for the front-end.

We also used scriptographer to produce infographics for the white paper.



In 2010, Centre Pompidou Museum (National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) consulted several french design agencies for the redesign of the museul website.

Blind was part of those agencies. A lot of attention have been put on the articulation between information architecture and information design.

We lost the constest (still being 6th of 30) but it was a great experience. Let's say that Selina Ebert, art director, provided the great modernist spirit that fueled the whole project.

Concept maps

For this project, we made an heavy use of concepts maps as blueprints for the organization between content and interaction. As functionnalists, we primed minimalism between the use and the form.

Maps were great tools to communicate and get quick consensus on fundamental understandings of the team.

Information architecture was important as a set of skills in order to share complex concepts, various point of views and transforming the collective works as a sustainable space of ideas and concepts.

Web of objects

Even if it was requested by the brief, we tried to push the innovative concept of web of objects to a certain reality. We then provided a full transversal framework of independant information designed dispositifs. The website is used as intended but is also augmented by the eco-system in which it is taking part.

The idea is not new. We just take it as something to realize. Most of the concept and analysis work can be found in books such Bruce Sterling's Shaping Things.

Crafting the semantic web of information



Small project for a small poster dedicated to the anniversary of blind. We all designed and printed a poster for the occasion and made a cool party in a parisian bar. It was fun.

The pattern

The poster used a generative algorithm based upon a branching system derived from a small attraction/repulsion of "random" walkers. The letters or shapes can be grow by adding a set of repulsors.

It has been implemented with nodebox framework/IDE. The code is not formidable and could be a day or another on github. You can still ask by email.



The project

IRIS was a data visualization project commissioned by heaven. The main purpose of the project was to show to clients the effectivness of the community management teams.

It was then important to have a scalable visualization that permit comparison between periods.

IRIS can also be used as representation of differential amount of work between clients and missions.

The system

To clarify the visual representation, the system uses 3 differents dimensions.

  • The communities are ordered by proximities with the topic. Which proximities is represented as distance from the center.
  • Being or not part of the community management is represented by contrast between active and passive actors. First one are colored and the latter none.
  • Importance of the actors by them themselves are represented by the normalized size corresponding to them.

The code

The posters have been produced with a python script using the nodebox framework/IDE.

The community mangers provided CSV files from their reports and we returned them the visualization in various vector formats (PDF, EPS and SVG) in order to be included in their own workflow (MS Powerpoint mainly).

The software also used to let the possibility to parametrize the colors in order to producre posters more compatible with the client's branding.



MultipliCity Disorder was a collaboration with Angelique Chemois (architect) and Ola Wasilkowska (architect) and a proposal to the Europan 9 contest. We tried to invest into network theory and ecosystem modelling in order to open up a new way to think the territory and the relationship between the architects, urban planning and the communities.

The main idea was to use a prey-predatory model to constraint diversity within a landscape. We also played with the concept of strangification to develop the idea that architectural intervention needed a translation effort.



  • Collective intelligence and open technologies
    Week of Wisdom (Tsinghua University)
    2014 – Tam-Kien Duong
  • Scaling Up Learning Communities: ecology of open technologies for analytics and collective intelligence
    Plug&Play Macroscopes (Indiana University)
    2014 – Tam-Kien Duong
  • Interfaces innovantes (clés de lecture)
    Sharing day pour l’agence heaven
    2009 – Tam-Kien Duong
  • Exploration de la communauté online du Parkour
    Journée d’étude « pratiques ethnographiques sur internet »
    2009 – Emmanuel Berne & Tam-Kien Duong
  • multipliCity Disorder : La complexité au service de la pluralité
    Séminaire « esthétique et complexité » de l’Institut des Systèmes Complexes de Paris Île-de-France
    2008 – Angélique Chedemois, Aleksandra Wasilkowska & Tam-Kien Duong


  • Les publics et non-publics de l’Espace Simone Signoret
    Enquête par entretiens et questionnaires. Recherche-action
    2006 – Espace Simone Signoret (Vitry le François)
  • Le devenir des étudiants inscrit en DESS en 2002-2003
    Enquête par questionnaires et entretiens téléphoniques
    2005 – Observatoire de l’Insertion Professionnelle de l’université Paris IV Sorbonne
  • L’analyse empirique de la gratuité. Le cas de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France
    Enquête par questionnaires et observations
    2004 – Département des études et de la prospective de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Who ?

Duong Tam Kien
is the founder of formism (2010-2013)
and then offering the one-man-show leading to crossroads between social sciences and information architecture.


  • Preparation of a PhD about information architecture
    2006-2008 – Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
  • Master philosophy and sociology of knowledge
    2006 – University Paris IV Sorbonne
  • MST applied social sciences
    2005 – Universities Paris IV Sorbonne & Paris V Sorbonne Descartes
  • DEUG applied mathematics and psychology
    2003 – University Paris V Sorbonne Descartes

Work experiences

  • Designer
    Institut Recherche et Innovation (Centre Pompidou)
  • Research engineer
    Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société
    Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity
  • UI and front web developper
    Etalab (DINSIC)
  • Information architect
  • Field sociologist
  • Communication executive
    Complex Systems Institute