I have been blabbing about this book all over social media. I am reading and rereading passages because they are foundational to understanding visualization. Graphesis Visual Forms of Knowledge Production is unique in that it teaches interpretation AND visualization.
In the era of dime a dozen experts sharing their guru-ness and data insights--read this book and inform your own process. I hate listicles, templates, SEO optimization, and marketing practices that scold me for not stealing your email addresses. I momentarily succumbed to the pressure but will be making all private membership pages public in the new year.
There are many ideas I can share from the book but check them out yourself. I have already written in the margins, dog-eared pages, and toted this book all around town.
I'll leave you with this great quote:
"Visualizations are always interpretations--data does not have an inherent visual form that merely gives rise to a graphic expression."
The second book that I am sneaking into the first recommendation is linked to the next great find of 2015.
I am crazy about a few curated podcasts that I feel provide a lot of bang for the buck. Design Matters is one that I always have in the queue (more on that in number 2). The phrase exquisite corpse was used in conversation and although familiar, I couldn't put my finger on the relevance. It led to this book that I am intrigued by. The premise that cities are created from different perspectives and interests is a parallel construct that can apply to nearly everything. Surrealists once played a game with a piece of paper. You wrote or drew something, folded the paper, and passed it around a table. When it was completed you were left with an "exquisite corpse"--the metaphor with architecture just writes itself.
If you are interested in other books that I am reading head over to my library. I upload the books that I purchase and read to share with anyone interested in the rare finds.
It was a struggle to only share one podcast as the best of the year. Design Matters deserves the title for many reasons but when I think of a new skill that I brought to my work life this year I have to give Debbie Millman the hat tip. I now keep a can of colored pencils on my desk for sketching out ideas, I have a dozen new artists, collaborators, and creatives that I follow across all types of media. Think of Russian Nesting Dolls--Design Matters features interviews with a variety of writers, designers, artists, authors--if you can't move beyond a creative barrier after tuning in I don't know what will help you.
I don't watch live TV but discovered this little PBS gem that I needed to pick for the best of 2015. A Chef's Life shares the creative, business, and personal life of chef Vivian Howard. I thought it was a cooking show and was trying to unwind. I guess you need to be moderately interested in food but the interviews and images are what hooked me. I don't want to ruin any of the magic so I will say no more.
This one may not be for everyone but I did give you two book recommendations so give it a listen. I am from the northeast and have so many memories of classical music from my dad--I revisit them here on WQXR online every day while I am working. You don't have to download anything, just hit play and be inspired. I am sure most of us are writing on the weekends and they feature an opera with commentary between acts and interviews with the stars...a real gem.
I am asked about what recording device, video, and camera that I use whenever I am speaking to groups of writers. I cheat. I tend to use the iphone for everything. This year, due to the abundance of meetings where I was either speaking or working as media I did have to upgrade my microphone but you can manage just fine with whatever your smartphone has going on. I needed a new linear voice recorder for capturing high quality sound--in a pinch the iphone was still respectable.