Edward Tufte: Seeing and Believing
A great example of a person living a multidimensional life in more than one world is Edward Tufte, profiled recently by Adam Aston in BusinessWeek, Tufte’s Invisible Yet Ubiquitous Influence. Tufte is perhaps best known for his large, elaborate and beautifully-produced books (from his own company, Graphics Press) on the best ways to present and interpret data and information, such as The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. But he is also a consultant to large corporations and master teacher (Professor Emeritus at Yale) who now spends considerable time on the road each year delivering a one day course, Presenting Data and Information, to big audiences at auditoriums nationwide. I went to one several years ago in Arlington, Virginia, and found it to be stimulating and highly informative. The cost is relatively steep, but copies of his books are included in the admission. Even so, back-of-the-room sales of his books were brisk as people bought extra copies as gifts or for their office. I also discovered that day that he is a serious rock music listener (the background music played during the breaks and during the book signing afterwards came from his collection) and an artist of large-scale sculptures and outdoor installations. The Cheshire Herald in Connecticut (Tufte’s home state) has a story, Tufte Continues To Dazzle With Larger Than Life Works, about a new exhibit of these installations, Edward Tufte: Seeing Around, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, in Ridgefield, Ct. It runs until January 17, 2010. For more on these works, and Tufte’s philosophy of art, see the interview from Modern Painters and more on Tufte’s website. The site as a whole has a considerable amount of information (including writing by and about Tufte) and stunning visual imagery.