Blog

Open PV Project
Posted by on April 17, 2012
Posted in: energy, environment, mapping

Since a fair amount of our work at Fat Pencil Studio is related to solar power, it sure does seem like there has been a marked increase in the installation of solar PV arrays in recent years. But it’s always nice to have some well-presented data to confirm one’s impressions, so I was excited to […]

Happy B-day Packy!
Posted by on April 14, 2012
Posted in: construction, geomodeling

Fifty years ago in Portland, an elephant named Packy was born. At the time, no Asian elephants had been born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years, so Packy touched off a minor sensation in Oregon, and across the United States. Today, Packy is the oldest male elephant in North America, and he is the patriarch […]

There's a brick for that
Posted by on April 3, 2012
Posted in: data visualization, inspiration, lean management

When I was growing up, LEGO provided the building blocks for a whole range of creative expression… for kids. Now they’ve found their way into corporate management systems. General Motors has partnered with the WellStar Health on a system using LEGO bricks to track a whole range of processes from vehicle repairs to patient care. […]

Surging Seas
Posted by on March 26, 2012
Posted in: data visualization, environment

If you are among the 50% of Americans [Gallup, 2011] who worry about global warming, it can be hard to know exactly what to worry about. Polar Bears gone extinct? Famine in Africa? Shortened Summer ski season on Mt. Hood? For most of us that aren’t directly affected by these issues, global warming remains kind […]

The “Death of Architecture”
Posted by on March 8, 2012
Posted in: architecture, creative community

I came across an article on Good Magazine’s website that caught my eye: Why ‘The Death of Architecture’ May Not Be Such a Bad Thing. As someone who graduated with an architecture degree in 2008–perhaps the worst time ever to get an architecture degree–I was eager to hear about how “the emerging field of public […]

Data Driven Documents
Posted by on March 1, 2012
Posted in: creative community, data visualization, graphic design

Now is a great time for the visualization of data. There are the stunning infographics in Good magazine, the always compelling interactive features in the New York Times, and – of course – there’s ET. Encouraged by our ever shortening attention spans and craving for information as quickly as possible, the visualization of data is […]

Panoview
Posted by on February 20, 2012
Posted in: creative community, imaging

Here’s a little something I stumbled upon yesterday: Panoview, a company that creates ultra high resolution 360 degree photographs. Check out their website [update: no longer active] to see what they can do. I recommend going into full screen mode and playing with the different viewer settings. Impressive! And – even better – they’re located […]

Solar Highway Site Energized
Posted by on February 17, 2012
Posted in: built projects, energy, photomatch, projects

Last month, the Oregon Dept. of Transportation flipped the switch on a new 1.75 megawatt solar system. The project sits on 7 acres of land at the Interstate 5 Baldock Rest Area, just south of Wilsonville. Installing solar arrays in transportation corridors is common in Europe, but not so in the United States. Oregon’s solar […]

Edward Tufte, sculptor
Posted by on February 15, 2012
Posted in: creative community, data visualization, inspiration

We’re big fans of “ET” here at Fat Pencil Studio. No, not the Extra Terrestrial. Not Ernest Tubb (hey country music fans!). We mean Edward Tufte, information visualization pioneer and guru, and apparently now a sculptor. I came across this BBC News piece about Tufte’s new 3d endeavors. It’s always inspiring to see someone so insatiably […]

Google Maps Case Study
Posted by on February 10, 2012
Posted in: mapping

Continuing my infatuation with Google Maps, here is an interesting article about their behind-the-scenes development. An intriguing thought: “Drawing inspiration from nature, we wanted to make the roads feel like the veins on a leaf: clearly visible if you are looking for them, yet intrinsically part of the overall design; adding detail without adding clutter.”