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Shop & Celebrate!

Pulling the IMA magazine together is probably one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job, aside from Monday Web team meetings. And with the winter (November-January) issue, we usher in a new era of the magazine. No longer called Previews, but simply known as the IMA magazine, the cover and pages present the Museum’s new graphic identity. With a new look also comes fresh content and ideas that incorporate the intersection of art, design and nature. In this issue, we went out on a limb and decided to do our first retail holiday photo shoot–presenting items for sale in the Museum’s shops–rather than rely on product photography from the design house or manufacturers.


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Filed under: Art, Design, Musings


Sparklines – can less be more in data visualization?

Einstein is often quoted as saying “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Last month, I went to a seminar given by Edward Tufte, author of “Beautiful Evidence” and “Envisioning Information” – books that serve as inspiration for many in the field of information visualization. While Einstein advocated for simplicity in describing the universe through mathematics, Tufte argues for allowing data to speak for itself by taking what might be called a minimalist approach to designing visualizations. At the seminar, I learned that Tufte has coined the term sparkline to refer to small yet data-rich line graphs like the following, which take this concept to its limit for one-dimensional time-varying data:


I thought that these sparklines might be an interesting way to represent data on the IMA Dashboard, and so I’m experimenting by bringing this nugget of wisdom to bear on a chart that I haven’t been very pleased with. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Design, Technology


The Pharmacy


The Pharmacy prescribes the following links to combat Monday online anemia.


Blog: (thanks @cmalexander!)

Pronounced “cot”- “key”…I’m still not entirely sure how to describe this blog. I remember looking at it the first time and being, well, underwhelmed by the overly simple design. But as one scrolls down the pages, one is confronted with nugget after nugget of outrageously interesting info. It’s about the content, people. One of the many descriptions on the About page reads: “An attempt to track and make sense of “material that connects the insights of science and culture, rather than using one to dismantle the other” (as Steven Johnson puts it).” I describe it as: clever, clever, clever.

ArtBabble Video: Artist Talk: Nic Hess

For the Hammer’s Lobby Wall, Swiss artist Nic Hess presents Automatic Crash Response, a mixture of images in tape ranging from tombstone- like monuments of several recently failed banks, animals, how-to exercise diagrams, a generic shopping cart, the USPS logo and more to weave a lyrical quasi-narrative left for the viewer to decode. Nic Hess discusses Automatic Crash Response, as well as his other works.

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Filed under: Art, Current Events, Design, New Media, Technology


Gardening Schizophrenia

This is the time of year when I am frequently torn by opposing emotions. Concerning the garden, I mean. Let’s not even think about getting into all the other areas. Those 50 degree nights? They make me think about frost. It’s coming. Soon. Four weeks? Six weeks? And it makes me crazy. Everything is looking so nice.


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Filed under: Horticulture


We, the People

What’s working for the @NatHistoryWhale that makes me want to visit the American Museum of Natural History?

Screen shot 2009-09-16 at 10.18.30 PM

I have the distinct pleasure of being in Daniel‘s class this fall, Museums and Technology.  While it is surprising for my classmates that I would take a class about something I do already, I am excited for the opportunity to explore more thoroughly the meaning of technology for the museum experience and how the visitor is affected by these changes. I see continual parallels between issues encountered with visitors in physical space and issues we are encountering all over again in our digital spaces. I’ve talked about Twitter before and I have been thinking about how it is harnessed by museums and where we are going wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Marketing, Musings, New Media, Technology


Recent Flickrs

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