You and your family sent out a Christmas postcard. Jose Vilson blogged his year-end reflection. Corporations and businesses also play your game, issuing annual reports to their shareholders, detailing their rises and falls, quantifying successes and qualifying failures, telling the stories of their fiscal years through pictures, words, and charts.
Nicholas Felton is an individual, a graphic designer, but he takes the corporate route, obsessively tracking his vital statistics throughout the calendar year,
- where he ate,
- where he traveled,
- media he consumed,
- media he produced,
- text messages he sent,
- e-mails he received,
issuing one of the design world’s most bespoke articles at each year’s end.
You are a shareholder in his life and flipping through his annual report is not an optional assignment for dy/dan readers. The 2006 edition, for example, includes information design grails such as this page of pie charts, ordered and unordered lists, detailing the food he ate over 2006:
or this scatter plot of drinks he consumed throughout the year:
Nicholas Felton stands alongside Andrew Kuo as a patron saint of my Information Design course. Both make their idiosyncratic preferences and activities accessible to large populations through a) articulate self-reflection and b) precise mathematical structures.
So do you see it? Do you SEE how this brings us all together? Math & Language? Old School & New School? Do you have another math class on your master schedule that’ll spawn as many writers and designers as engineers and statisticians?
All you School 2.0, future of learning, 21st-century educator-types, please, please, come back. I’ve found the flag I can fly for you. This flag. And I need you to get crazy about it with me.