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VizThink Conference 2008
industry/topic description group
time date
visual thinking real-time journaling na 3"x5" each 2 days 01.08
Going to VizThink, I knew I'd be making some kind of visual record of my experience. After overpacking for several options, I choose to draw on 3"x5" index cards. Why?
  • Normally, I listen to large groups of people and map their conversation into one image. Here I'd be listening to mostly singular presenters/facilitators. So, a smaller scale could work.
  • I knew a lot of sessions would be hands on. That wouldn't be conducive to one map, and I wanted to participate.
  • Thankfully, I wasn't working this conference, so I wanted to be flexible to opt in and out of drawing.
  • 3"x5" were easy to fit on my table space.
  • I could think about this conference in all the good seeds of thought I could use later, so individual cards worked well.
 I used just about 100 cards in two days. Here are some of them below.

Monday, January 28

Opening General Session

Tom Crawford Introduction

How to Draw with Dave Gray


An Interview with Bob Horn by Nancy Duarte and Cliff Atkinson





Morning Breakout Session
Screw Requirements: Shaping Customer Experience Strategies
Henning Fischer, Sarah Nelson, Brandon Schauer


Afternoon Breakout Session

VizMaps: An Alternate Approach to Describing Where
Bruce Daniel



< This is my map the session's hands on activity

Bruce Daniel walked us through an exercise to draw a "glyph-less" map of a common route in our lives.

It was a great activity, and I was thankful to Daniel for leading us through a guided imagery exercise first, before putting pen to paper. We were encouraged to remember the route and locations through all the senses. 

This is my route from my home to the main branch of the Chicago Public Libraries - Harold Washington  Public Library.

It begins at my apartment in the Edgewater neighborhood and taking the #147 Express bus. It starts out local down Sheridan, then zips down Lake Shore Drive, then local again down Michigan Avenue.

LSD first passes loads of parkland, green with tress, then in hits a point of blocks and blocks of buildings, mostly condos.

Near where I exit the bus, stands Anish Kapoor's sculpture, Cloudgate, the bean on the green on Millennium Park. The blue water is Lake Michigan. The orange box is the Loop. The owl represents of of the giant copper owls decorating the four corners of the library roof.

Afternoon General Session

Ethics in Visual Thinking

Donna Kienzler

  Karl Gude, Nigel Holmes, John Grimwade, Bryan Christie,



New Technologies in Visual Thinking
Tom Wujec


Tuesday, January 29

Morning General Session


 VizThink Challenge
I was in the Idea Mapping group led by Jamie Nast and recorded by Suzi Watson. We each started by jotting down our own ideas about how to solve Artrain's challenge. Here were my notes in about 5 minutes:

Morning Breakout Sessions
I choose a breakout that looked great but was full. I couldn't see much from my seat. After a bit, i stepped out to get an early lunch and mentally reset.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Building Visual Thinking Communities

Ryan Coleman


Closing General Session

Scott McCloud


  From Tom Homann's final exercise:

Graphic facilitator Brandy Agerbeck creates conceptual maps of conversations. Since 1996, her drawing and thinking skills have facilitated groups of 2 to 1000 across industries. Brandy's images help people navigate the complex world around them and bring clarity to their work.

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