There is something about design blogs that, like most visualisations, I find somewhat disheartening. Or ... disenheartened. Un-gripping. Page after page of smooth-skinned furniture and unblemished book design. But when I fell over these furniture designs, the literal reproductions of rough pencil sketches, for once I was struck enough to go back not once, but twice ... and hence blog them.
Furniture designs by Daigo Fukawa for his 2013 senior thesis exhibition at Tokyo University of the Arts, via Spoon and Tamago.
Recently at work I blogged about a problem we're seeing at The Dowse; schools who can't afford the transport costs to come and use the LEOTC programmes we run, funded by the Ministry of Education. It's a widespread issue, affecting most LEOTC providers I've talked to.
The blog post was prompted by an article in the DomPost about the issue, and a conversation I had on Twitter after I tweeted it. On Twitter, I was asked how much it would cost to get a class to The Dowse. In the blog post, I gave the figures (depending on distance and length of visit, the charges for the subsidised bus we have available to us come in between roughly $55 and $100).
I wrote in the post that we're about to start fundraising so we can offer that bus for free. And amazingly, kindly, amazingly kindly, Pauline Dawson - a dedicated art supporter - spontaneously gave us a donation to help out.
Pauline's written a blog post about why she did this, reminding us how galleries and museums can provide those 'wow, it's a big world out there' moments so important in a kid's life. In turn, her gesture is a reminder that sometimes, when you ask, good things happen. So from me and my team Pauline - thank you so much.
Every so often, I get a bee in my bonnet about visualisations. Sometimes I even do wanky pie charts making fun of my own frustrations.
But then occasionally, I see something that really works for me. Like this investigation of the Tate collections by Florian Kräutli. Kräutli uses fairly simple graphs to get a feel for the shapes of the collections, and then to drill down into the shapes that strike him as strange (why the bump in 1814? why 'one big balloon and a lot of awful tiny dots'?).
It's a lovely bit of writing and best of all, I learnt things about the Tate collections by the time I got to the end of it, things that I wouldn't have absorbed so markedly if it had just been s short essay. Love it. More, please.
(It's worth noting as well that these visualisations are made using data released by Tate on GitHub.)
Via a friend at the Alexander Turnbull Library, the Auckland War Memorial Museum's Unsolicited Donations page. It impossible to look at this little array without being moved, in that very specific way that abandoned miscellaneous objects seem to move you.
If you hover over the images, you get a brief decription. This one cannot be beaten: Deep ocean rock. Green coloured silicious rock; believed to be deep ocean. Found by depositor and dropped off because she believed it to be cursed. Received 2008-09.