Yearly Archives: 2017

Put a Tree on it

Feature photo by Solterra Over the past two years, I’ve enjoyed watching the construction of Solterra’s new building on the corner of SE 9th & Division. As the project nears completion, some unique features are coming into focus. The south facade hosts a giant mural by UK Artist Finbarr Dac. He’s painted similar compositions all […]

Assembling the Story

Featured image credit: Forensic Architecture, Drone Strike Investigation Case #3; MSNBC Back in July, I wrote a post called Threshold of Detectability, inspired by Eyal Weizman’s book Forensic Architecture. In the piece I discussed the inherent power structure that exists within the data technology industry by way of restricted access to information, often with the […]

The Information Is Beautiful Awards are here!

These days, the awards show season has something for everyone, amirite? Around the Fat Pencil office, we get especially giddy and distractable in the weeks leading up to KANTAR Information Is Beautiful Awards (IIB). In September, designers, statisticians, brands, and information scientists from around the globe submitted their best data visualizations of 2017, and on  […]

Landmarks and Context
Posted by on September 21, 2017
Posted in: architecture, inspiration, mapping

Today, during a cold and rainy kickoff to the Fall season, I found myself daydreaming about a Summer visit to historic central Rome. Of course I got to see the major tourist attractions, but I was unexpectedly impressed by the victory columns. These monuments were built to honor Roman emperors by telling stories of wartime […]

Oregon's Transportation Package

Feature Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation Last month, Oregon’s legislature passed a $5.3-billion transportation bill in an effort to keep up with a growing population and increasingly inadequate infrastructure. As Portland continues to rise on the list of most infuriating cities to drive in, efforts to make our roadways more efficient have sparked intense […]

3D Printed Evidence
Posted by on September 21, 2017
Posted in: DetailViz, legal, SceneViz

In January 2015, the show NCIS: LA featured 3D printing in its episode “In the Line of Duty”. The storyline followed the team as they investigated an attempt on the life of the American ambassador to Tunisia. The Tunisian crime scene was still “hot” and unsafe (and was 6000+ miles away), so the team instead […]

Morrison Bridge Update
Posted by on August 17, 2017
Posted in: built projects, construction, events, legal, transportation

Last night I walked down two flights of stairs into “the pit” of the Morrison Bridge. As part of a tour organized by WTS Portland, I got to see the current state of construction first hand, including the counterweight mechanism below the bridge. It’s not the first time I’ve been “down below”. Back in 2014, […]

Mock Jury at FORTE
Posted by on August 16, 2017
Posted in: events, legal, tips and tricks, Uncategorized

Recently I had the chance to participate in a mock jury exercise at FORTE. Trial attorneys from all over the country came to hone their opening statement presentation skills. FORTE focuses on non-verbal communication (our fave), and workshops, while designed for attorneys, include tips that are generally helpful to everyone in attendance. The subject matter for […]

Design Thinking, in Practice
Posted by on July 10, 2017
Posted in: construction, legal, product, projects, transportation

Last month we wrote about “design thinking,” an old idea that has found new popularity in break rooms and board rooms of companies from many disciplines. The theory calls for the use of visual tools and prototypes to engage a broad range of stakeholders in all stages of the design process. Here are some examples […]

Mapillary Action

Recently I heard about Mapillary, an open-source app that lets anyone with a camera and an internet connection contribute to a database of street view images from around the world. We use Google’s street view all the time to create 3D models of remote locations, so I was curious to see what Mapillary has to offer. […]