TEDViz

Posted: August 26th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

It’s still too early to know where the idea of building a TEDViz community might take us, but here’s a post by Michelle Borkin that explains how it all started.

Then it happened, the idea was born: how about “TEDViz”?  A whole TED meeting devoted to “visualization”?  Visualization in the abstract, in art and design, in business, in the sciences, online and in print…  It is one “field” that is extremely important and valued by TED, yet has in many ways been neglected.  We instantly started rambling off the tops of our heads all the brilliant visualization designers, researchers, and developers who should have a chance to spread their ideas in only the way TED intended yet have never had the chance to attend TED


NSF - Visualization Challenge

Posted: August 11th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The National Science Foundation has once again announced its annual open call for visualization wizards. The 2009 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge is now underway. The deadline for all entries is September 15, 2009.

How many people would have heard of fractal geometry or the double helix or solar flares if they had been described solely in words? In a world where science literacy is dismayingly rare, illustrations provide the most immediate and influential connection between scientists and other citizens, and the best hope for nurturing popular interest. Indeed, they are now a necessity for public understanding of research developments.


Measuring the Universe (2007)

Posted: August 6th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Measuring the Universe (2007) is a performance-based work in which the height of each visitor is recorded on the gallery’s wall by a Museum attendant, eventually creating a unique wall drawing and a visual record of thousands of museum visitors. The exhibition is the fourth installment of MoMA’s Performance Exhibition Series, in the North American premiere of Roman Ondák’s (Slovakian, b. 1966), in display between June 24, 2009 and September 14, 2009, at MoMA.


Crowdsourcing Crisis Information

Posted: August 5th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, is a platform that crowdsources crisis information, allowing anyone to submit their report through text messaging using a mobile phone, email or web form, and then visualize it on a map or a timeline. This free open-source project has been featured in MIT Technology Review and Forbes last year, but only now I’ve came across this inicitiave that certainly deserves all the support.


Chroma-Hash

Posted: August 4th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Mattt Thompson has recently sent me a link to an interesting interface component called Chroma-Hash. Matt’s creation is a smart jQuery plugin that dynamically visualizes secure text-field values using ambient color bars. Chroma-Hash displays a series of colored bars at the end of field inputs so you can instantly see if your password is right. I bet the guys at Dopplr will find this quite appealing…


Spectacular Projection

Posted: July 29th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

555 KUBIK | facade projection | from urbanscreen on Vimeo.


User Friendly Form

Posted: July 29th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

A friend of mine sent me this entry form. Simple, friendly and original. See it at Moof.com.


Game Design for Web Applications

Posted: July 28th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

It might well be that having Game Designer Katie Salen as my Parsons MFA teacher has contributed decisively to this, but I’ve always felt that designers from all domains can learn a great deal from game design. When I was at Interaction’09 in Vancouver, last February, I really enjoyed Nadya Direkova’s presentation on this topic. Nadya Direkova works as a Senior Information Architect in Razorfish, San Francisco, where she leads the gaming practice for the company’s UX team. Her presentation focused on how game design thinking provides new tools for the design of non-game products, campaigns, and an overall richer experience.


TED Global Highlights

Posted: July 28th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

On the last day at TED Global, in Oxford last week, Chris Anderson warned about the famous “TED crash” - a recurrent feeling after 4 days of dopamine and lack of sleep. I was certainly feeling the “crash” on the train home from Oxford, having got used to being ignited by so many mind-blowing talks, ideas and discussions. The conference had a great start with Alain de Boton and Gordon Brown, leading to 3 more days of an intellectual marathon.

Here are some of the highlights:

Learning from Nature

It was interesting to see how Janine Benyus‘ research on Biomimicry had apparently contaminated many of the designers and architects at TED Global. Janine’s talk was awe-inspiring, showing many examples where researchers and scientists went to Nature in search of innovation and problem-solving. Later on, designers Ross Lovegrove and Mathieu Lehanneur showed us a great variety of projects inspired by natural shapes and behaviors.

Local Resilience

Anthropologist Stefana Broadbent and Food Urbanist Carolyn Steel reflected on the social and urban consequences of the industrial revolution on modern society. Carolyn proposed o new sustainable urban model, which she calls Sitopia, while Eric Sanderson, from the Mannahatta project, showed many views of a lost Manhattan but also a balanced vision for the future. But the most interesting thing was to see how many of these ideas in urban agriculture and local resilience were put into practice by Architect Bjarke Ingels, who delivered an outstanding presentation.

Measure results, not time

Just as Daniel Pink described how many companies are now realizing that employees should not be measured by how many hours they work but by the results of their work (apparently obvious, but not quite), it reminded me of Stefan Sagmeister’s talk on the very first day. Sagmeister explained how every 7 years he closes his design studio and takes a 1-year sabbatical and that most of his ideas come from that period. Very enticing…

The Power of Narrative

Emmanuel Jal and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie delivered powerful stories from a continent that tends to be highly neglected and misunderstood. Emmanuel’s war child story was emocional and extreme, but his message went beyond a personal testimony, making a wide appeal to the TED community: “The importance of education for me is what I’m willing to die for, because I know what it can do for my people. You’re killing a whole generation by just giving aid. If you want to help, give education”. Besides receiving a standing ovation from the audience, Emmanuel was later that day awarded with €10,000 for his education initiative. I was truly impressed by TED promptness in supporting such an incredible cause. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talked on the last night of TED Global, in the beautiful Sheldonian Theatre, addressing the African stereotype as the result of a narrow westernized view, where one story is many times taken as the whole story.

Other Talks

90-year-old Elaine Morgan delivered a convincing argument for the Aquatic Ape hypothesis.

Cary Fowler, from the Global Crop Diversity Trust, talked about the amazing Artic Seed Vault.

Architect Magnus Larsson is trying to gather support for his enormous project - a sand wall across the entire Sahara desert. More info

Photographer James Balog talked about the Extreme Ice Survey, the most wide-ranging glacier study ever conducted using ground-based, real-time photography.

Neuroscientist Henry Markram showed us some stricking images from the Blue Brain Project, featured 3 times in VisualComplexity.

Impressive photography by Taryn Simon.


Back from Oxford

Posted: July 27th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I recently returned from Oxford, after speaking at TED Global. The experience was memorable and exhilarating. Here are a few reviews and write-ups of my talk:

The talk should be up on the TED website within a few weeks.


Information Kinetics: EGOVIZ

Posted: July 13th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I will be in mid-august in San Sebastian (Spain) for a workshop, part of the EGOVIZ event. Spread over the course of 2 weeks, EGOVIZ will be directed by Bestiario and include participants Ángela Zoss, Fabien Girardin, Marcos Weskamp and myself. The Call for Projects has recently been extended, so feel free to submit yours.

The objective of this workshop is to connect scientific vision with artistic expression via the visualisation of data. In present-day society we live with an overabundance of information. However, obtaining meaningful analysis or relevant reflection can be an especially hard task. Organising information, offering different perspectives, encouraging analysis or bringing that which seemed hidden to light, with the aim of catalysing meaningful reflection are tasks often faced by the artist, at times in the guise of a private investigator and at others armed only with intuition. It seems appropriate, therefore, to provide conceptual and technical tools that enable the artist to tackle their investigations from other perspectives.

Read more @ Turbulence.


Speaking @ TED Global

Posted: June 24th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

It’s now official, I will be in Oxford in the end of July to talk at TED Global. It’s without a doubt a great privilege and honor to be in such a respectable stage as TED, an event I’ve profoundly admired over the years. The TED website is perhaps my favorite bookmark and an outstanding source of knowledge. I’m really thrilled with the idea and I’m sure it will be a great experience.


Immersive Visualizations

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I returned from New York 2 weeks ago after talking at the inaugural CAT (Creativity and Technology) conference organized by Creativity Magazine. There was a lot of interesting people there, like Aaron Koblin, Ben Fry and Nick Bilton, and plenty of creative directors from a variety of digital agencies, such as Organic, Crispin Porter + Bogursky, R/GA, amongst others. The key topics emerging from most talks were around Mobile Development, Data Visualization and Augmented Reality, and I must say that being somehow disconnected from the latter I was surprised to see some of the current developments in the field. I shared the stage with Dr. JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, director of the Allosphere Research Laboratory - an impressive 3 storey high visualization environment. JoAnn is an engaging speaker and it was great to hear her describe the Allosphere in detail.

Allosphere (left) & Geodome (right)

After CAT in New York and HATCH, in Asheville (North Carolina) last April, and talking with the people behind Allosphere and Geodome, respectively JoAnn Kuchera-Morin and David McConville, it really became clear that we’re facing an increasing need for alternative ways of visualizing data that go way beyond the common mouse-screen configuration. These 2 projects provide immersive visualization environments that allow the discovery of different levels of information in a rich and engaging way, miles apart from any screen-based online tool. Being inside one of Elumenati’s Geodomes was an outstanding escapade from the mundane, which I described in a previous post, so I can only imagine what it must feel like to be inside a 3 storey high sphere, with surrounding visuals and sound in a truly multi-sensorial immersive experience. I cannot wait to visit JoAnn in my next trip to California…


Público receives D&AD Yellow Pencil

Posted: June 18th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

I was really excited to hear that one of my favorite Portuguese newspapers won the prestigious D&AD Yellow Pencil Award. The annual D&AD Awards are highly respected, and regarded as a major event in the world of design and advertising. Público (Portuguese for Public) is a Portuguese daily national newspaper, widely regarded as a newspaper of record. It began publication on March 5, 1990, and since then it has been at the forefront of Portuguese journalism and alternative methods of information delivery. Here’s Público’s award entry and the list of 2009 winners at Creative Review.


Magazines: Form + Creativity

Posted: June 18th, 2009 | Author: Manuel Lima | Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Form Magazine (Germany) and Creativity Magazine (US) have recently published two interesting pieces, respectively “InfoGraphics” and “Information Beautification”, on the recent outburst of interest for Information Visualization. Both address some of the trends of the field and future challenges. I’ve been interviewed on both articles so you might expect the occasional quote. Enjoy the reading…

Form | “Infographics”

Creativity Magazine | “Information Beautification”