Links Roundup 03/02/18

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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March 2, 2018


I’ve been thinking a lot about design these past few weeks. I’ve read a number of books on data visualization, started reading a bunch of dataviz blogs, and even started working on upping my PowerPoint game–a big part of my job is not just pulling the data together, but also in interpreting and communicating it as well. So it seems only natural that this week’s post is all about design.

I can’t help but think of SimCitywhenever I read about arcologies. And that got me wondering if anyone ever tried to actually build one, and the guy who came up with the word–Paolo Soleri–tried to, but wasn’t very successful at attracting 5,000 people to his bell-casting community in the middle of the desert.

Digression: when I was a kid, I used to watch this show on PBS which was a super-nerdy and kind of patronizing guy drawing a science fictional alien city on either a wall or a giant piece of paper with a black marker. I remember finding it fascinating and I have no idea what this show actually was. Please tell me that someone else remembers this show and that I didn’t simply imagine it.

  • Danny Gregory shares a few tips on how to make drawing easier. I have a copy of Gregory’s Art Before Breakfast and I keep thinking I should try getting up earlier so I can actually work my way through the book and…it keeps on not happening. In part because I’m not making it a priority! And in the spirit of trying to make it a priority, I have moved the book from the art studio/yarn supply/workout room onto my desk.
  • Vintage neon signs are so cool and I’m glad that there are people out there restoring them. I think it’d be a shame if all the lighted signs ended up being LEDs. Variety is good!
  • This is a scathing–and necessary–piece about how designers (specifically UX designers) have failed to act in the best interest of users. Like that fucking needle used by the New York Times to give readers anxiety attacks. You know the one. Anyhow, Mike Monteiro has a few ideas on how designers can act in a more ethical and user-focused way.
  • You know you want to read about paper jam engineers at Xerox. It’s the most delightfully nerdy thing I’ve read in a long time.

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5 Comments

  1. Jason Burnett

    The show you’re remembering watching is Commander Mark’s Secret City – https://monomythic.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/commander-marks-secret-city-creating-generations-of-art/

    I remember watching this show as well, and I still use some of the techniques I learned from it. You can find it on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgLeSe8pN3s

    Thanks for reminding me of this! (And also for all the links about design – I’ve got a lot of reading to do now.)

    • Natalie Luhrs

      Ahhhh thank you! Off to YouTube now!

  2. Paul Weimer

    Thanks Jason!

  3. A.C. Wise

    I completely forgot about that show, but now that you mention it I remember watching it with my neighbors and creating our own futuristic cities!

  4. Sarah Elkins

    I loved that Xerox article! Forever grateful for my first 6 weeks at Xerox as an engineer, where they had me help fix equipment in church basements and nuclear facilities, to understand the importance of designing for maintenance.

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