Blog

Design Week PDX 2018

This year, Fat Pencil Studio is partnering with our co-tenants Manifesto Agency to host an open house for Design Week 2018. This Thursday the 19th, from 4:30pm to 7pm, we’ll be opening our doors for an evening of live data viz and storytelling. We’ll have music, giveaways, and custom Manifesto and Fat Pencil cocktails for […]

San Diego Bike Share
Posted by on March 21, 2018
Posted in: mobile, transportation, urban design

Last week I spent the day in San Diego to speak at a seminar hosted by the Government Defense Attorneys Working Group (GDAWG)– GREAT acronym. On a short cab ride down the sunny waterfront boulevard, I couldn’t help wishing I was making the trip on foot or by bicycle. The airport is just two miles […]

11 Stress-Reducing SketchUp Plugins

We here at Fat Pencil Studio use SketchUp, like, A WHOLE LOT. Part of what makes it so great is the plugins, (or, as SketchUp calls them “extensions”): not only are there just tons of them, but there are always new ones to keep an eye out for. If there’s something you wish SketchUp could […]

Operator Training Videos
Posted by on March 6, 2018
Posted in: animation, projects, safety, SketchUp, transportation

Every year, Portland Streetcar has to re-certify more than 50 operators on three routes (the A loop, B loop, and N-S line). With three different train types, sixteen miles of track and a tight schedule, that’s no small undertaking. So they reached out to us a couple of years ago to produce a series of […]

Citizens and Artists
Posted by on February 27, 2018
Posted in: activism, creative community, inspiration

These days (but also always), it’s especially important to consider what it means to be a citizen (i.e., “member of society,” not “person of a certain legal status”). If we believe in this whole “American experiment” thing, then, as citizens, we have rights and responsibilities. These are intimately linked: without the concerted efforts of people […]

BBPDX's First Birthday
Posted by on February 14, 2018
Posted in: activism, creative community, events

Business for a Better Portland—BBPDX for short—is a community-building organization focused on mobilizing local business owners toward positive change. When it was founded about a year ago, Fat Pencil Studio was one of the first businesses to join. Recently, BBPDX celebrated its first birthday with a party for its members, cake and all. The last […]

A Carto Apartment Hunt
Posted by on February 12, 2018
Posted in: data visualization, GIS, mapping, software

Last fall, we worked on a mapping project that gave me an opportunity to try out a product we’d never used before: Carto Builder. The application, which is accessible through a browser, processes, analyzes, and visualizes geo-located data. Carto Builder works very similarly to other GIS programs. It has dual sides: one the data, the […]

Video Analytics and Vision Zero
Posted by on February 5, 2018
Posted in: activism, data visualization, safety, transportation, urban design

It’s been a couple of years since we’ve written about Vision Zero (1, 2), but hardly a week goes by that we aren’t reminded of the importance of it. As Portland’s streets get busier, they also get more deadly. Last year, 50 people lost their lives in traffic incidents. (For some reason, PBOT’s Vision Zero […]

The Pot Backpack Story
Posted by on January 18, 2018
Posted in: projects, SceneViz

Quite often, the legal projects we are asked to work on become about discovering plausible alternative narratives. These are the important what-ifs that can impact the outcome of a case. The pot-backpack project (as we refer to it around the studio) is a prime example of our work illustrating and legitimizing such what-ifs. The theories […]

What a great open house!
Posted by on January 15, 2018
Posted in: events

Early last month, we at Fat Pencil Studio opened our doors, kept the lights on for a couple extra hours, and hosted an office warming in our new space in the Hanna Building. And it was such a blast! Thank you all for gathering around our Netflix fireplace, drinking your fill, and bringing warmth and […]