493 flashback : we saw 4 out of the 6 best viz of the year!

wordcloudLast Fall term in DES 493 Project 1 we saw an extensive compilation of case studies of data visualizations, based on students’ and instructor’s research. 4 of this cases were consider among the top 6 viz of the year by Flowingdata.com : wordle, Radiohead house of cards, Last FM streamgraphs and I Want You to Want Me. We faced a challenging project then, making a new meaningful visualization widget inspired in what we researched, and we achieved the goal indeed: proof of this is the participation of 5 projects in the WAVE exhibition “Blurring Boundaries”. We were in tune with one the most important trends in design today!


“Be the change you want to see in the World”

– Ghandi

Thanks Betina!

Our first “virtual lecture” in DES 494 was a success. Last class Betina Naab delivered from Buenos Aires a complete introduction to calligraphy and shared with us a fantastic collection of examples and projects. Thank you all for participating in this experience.



More info about Betina Naab and Calligraphy in Argentina:






We broke up with Twiddla

After trying (unsuccessfully) many different tools to create our virtual crit room, Des 494 class have broken up with twiddla, and decided to move on and create our own virtual crit blog. Thanks Kathleen for setting this up:


Agenda for a New Economy


In the field of design for sustainability designers need to pay close attention to the new social and economic paradigms that will re-shape our profession in the near future, and will give us new parameters to re-oriented design towards a human oriented practice.

For many years Herman Daly, Hazel Henderson and Paul Hawken among other economists have insisted about an imperative new era of sustainable economy, that based on real wealth and not just in economic growth, and adds social justice and environmental responsibility to the equation. Below is a link to an interview to David Korten, another author that adds meaningful thoughts to this matter.



“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller



Making good design mean design for good.


The Design Council in UK has released a plan for making designers, clients, end-users and communities meet the same goals: shaping a sustainable future. “Design can drive a competitive economy, create a more sustainable society and make our everyday lives better. But only if it’s used well.” In the followed link you will find an excellent source of ideas and concepts in that direction.