Our Favorite Visualizations from 2021


2021 was a rush of a year for Fat Pencil Studio, one that has been packed start-to-finish with projects we're very proud of. In a small effort to punctuate our creative lives and stay in touch with what other are making, I asked the team to send me their most memorable visualizations from the year.

Carter's Pick

Three months of walking in a new city

The data was collected and exported from Arc (an iPhone app) and visualized using this tool

"Three months of walking in a new city" by Reddit user jeremymaluf is a strikingly elegant representation of Mexico city. "I love walking and exploring new neighborhoods, frequently checking the data to find unexplored streets to walk in the early morning or evening," the user adds.

From Carter: "I appreciate the element of time being essential to the piece's success. As viewers, we are able to understand a sense of discovery as the city takes form. "

Computerized Tomography (CT) scans are often used to diagnose medical conditions such as internal bleeding or bone fractures. However, the internals of any object can be scanned this way, not just the human body. Here's a fascinating look at three iterations of Apple's Airpod in-ear headphones captured as part of a visual story presented by scanofthemonth.com.

This visualization looks at the existing intersection of Third Avenue between East 33rd and 34th Streets in New York City. Due to the pandemic, cities and businesses have had to adapt to making their storefronts extend out to the sidewalk. I love how this addresses what a typical street looks like in all of its vibrancy and chaos, into a more cohesive network between traffic, deliveries, buildings, and place-making.

In an effort to make our streets more livable and equitable for everyone not driving a car, I've always been intrigued to see how our streets can evolve.

Reddit user crossground has crafted a wonderful, woeful animation depicting deforestation in the Amazon—most of which is practiced outside of legal methods and measurements—that effectively illustrates the extent of the damage that has been done in the past twenty years alone. Good calls to action are necessarily jarring, even if demonstrated beautifully, and this video timeline is no different.

Yana's Pick

Cloud Studies

Screen Shot 2021-12-15 at 13.52.35.png

The visualization that most stuck with me this year was the exhibition Cloud Studies from Forensic Architecture. As a compilation of several of the firm's recent investigations, the exhibition is an impressive exercise in pattern recognition. The toxic clouds investigated are ephemeral events, but the team studied them with a gravity appropriate for the violence caused.

"Today’s clouds are both environmental and political."

Yana Stannik was a Designer and Senior Designer at Fat Pencil Studio from 2017-2022.