Too much data and not enough time

It’s not a great feeling when you have to look at your own blog to see what was the last thing you wrote about but that’s what I’ve had to do. A dozen topics have sprung to mind and been forgotten since the 29th January (last blog) – such are the perils of working life when almost every waking moment needs to be devoted to “work”. But I’m glad to say one thing “stuck”.

Thanks to a colleague at work I was able to attend a ‘gathering’ in London hosted by Arup as part of their “Penguin Pool” series. They bill these Penguin Pool initiatives as “aim(ing) to encourage new connections and seed future collaborations across the design community, as well as inform, inspire and entertain.”. Since I’m very much NOT in the design community then this had to be about “inform”, “inspire” and “entertain”.

I’m happy to say it did all three. Aided and abetted by good company and some decent red wine.

Probably the most overwhelming part of the evening (in a good sense) was The Arkitypo Project which was based on the physical manifestation of popular fonts – which were rendered in a humerous and relevant way. The 3-D paper models were then printed with paper. I’m not doing the project justice but believe me it was clever and thought provoking. The corporate marketer in me liked Helvetica best and so that’s the one I pictured. Michael Johnson talked the audience from A to Z !

The headline guest speaker was Matt Webb from BERG and he led us on a rollicking journey through data. Some things I had already read about (The Little Printer) but mostly his content was fresh and lively. Loved the use of crowdsourcing Google searches on things like “fever” and “temperature” to accurately (very accuraetly) track flu epidemics globally.

A good evening – one where the brain was excercised a little bit and not just from doing the “day job”.

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