Blog Profile / Social Design Notes

Filed Under:Arts / Graphic Design
Posts on Regator:122
Posts / Week:0.3
Archived Since:March 30, 2008

Blog Post Archive

So You Want to Organize a Very Large Protest March

So you want to organize a very large protest march? There's no one better to ask than Leslie Cagan. Leslie has helped organize some of the biggest marches in recent history. To name just a few: he 1967 March on the Pentagon he 1982 anti-nuclear...Show More Summary

Ten Challenges to the Use of Data Visualization in Human Rights

In January 2016, my colleagues and I from an interdisciplinary research group at NYU (#NYUhrviz) asked a group of human rights researchers and advocates about the challenges they face when using data visualization. Mixing formal interviews with informal discussion, we found that responses revealed a few common themes. Show More Summary

What's Wrong with this Picture?

The Ethics Gap in Data Visualization What do ethics have to do with data visualization? Over the years, researchers and lawyers have come up with some rules and best practices to guide the proper collection and use of data, with particular attention on human subject research. Show More Summary

Eat the Nation

National dishes are part of people’s identity and self-image, but sometimes shaped by political or economic policy as much as place: During the age of European empire-building, nations would develop a national cuisine to distinguish themselves from their rivals. Before the 1940s, Pad Thai didn’t exist as a common dish. Show More Summary

From Museum Bot to Catalog Bot

Running a handful of museum bots that post random images to Twitter, one quickly gets a sense of the eccentricities of of various collections and catalogings: the MoMA bot has surfaced many Louise Bourgeoise prints, the Victoria & Albert...Show More Summary

The Uses of Radicalism

This interview with radical historian Eric Foner is full of goodness. The focus is on Reconstruction and its interpretation, and this bit on the function of radicalism speaks clearly to the present: “The abolitionists show you that a very small group of people can accomplish a lot by changing the discourse of the country. Show More Summary

Suicide Rate for Black Children Surges

Three months ago, I read a story in the NY Times with a chilling lede: the suicide rate among black children has nearly doubled since the early 1990s, while the rate for white children has declined. The story haunted me, and when the Harper’s Index repeated the statistic it prompted me to track down the source. Show More Summary


Activist and journalist Leah Borromeo interviews two members of Lapiztola, a street art collective from Oaxaca about the roots of the 2006 uprising and their visual response: You can see more of their work up at

Imagining Worlds

In September 2014, the National Book Foundation awarded Ursula LeGuin its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to recognize a lifetime of literary achievement. In her acceptance speech LeGuin had this to say about...Show More Summary

Protests in 2014

A week ago I tweeted a link to a stunning collection of dramatic photos from protests around the world in 2014. It was an amazing year: Ayotzinapa, Bangkok, Catalonia, Euromaidan, Ferguson, Hong Kong, Taksim… But it bugged me that such...Show More Summary

A Brief History of the Umbrella Movement

There have been some fantastic graphics coming out of Occupy Central in Hong Kong, but this brief chronology of the Umbrella Movement in comics is one of my favorites thus far. It was drawn by Dolly for Passion Teens Weekly.

Protests in Popular Culture enter the Culture of Popular Protests

It’s fascinating seeing elements of pop cultural representations of protests enter the visual vocabulary of real political protests in the streets: “Do u hear the people sing?” a banner at the protest in Hong Kong now is a line from a song about protest in Les Misérables, that hugely successful musical set during French Revolution. Show More Summary

Other Things to Know I Learned from Kindergarten

Perhaps you’re familiar with the poem All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. It’s a classic of American infantilism, that “values” and “innocence” are more important than thinking. I’m all for the sharing and wonder celebrated in the original, but it’s notable the teachers are conspicuously absent. Show More Summary

First Things First 2014

On the 50th anniversary of the 1964 design manifesto, and in the spirit of its 2000 refresh, here is a 2014 update addressing the social impact of design in the digital age. Added to my growing list of design manifestos.

On Culture its Consequences

From an interview with Molly Crabapple: “Art can change the world, but seldom in the way it intends, and seldom the art that people think would have that effect. I keep thinking of the Guy Fawkes mask Dave Gibbons drew. In discussions of what art is radical, mainstream comics are seldom brought up. Show More Summary

The Success of Non-Violent Civil Resistance

In 2008, Erica Chenoweth conducted a study of violent and non-violent civil resistance between 1900 and 2006. Among her findings: Non-violent campaigns worldwide were twice as likely to succeed as violent insurgencies. This trend isShow More Summary


Fantastic post on Demos on the importance of building power vs charity. I hate to give away the punchline (it's a short post—go read it now) but this really nails it: “Certain kinds of everyday heroism will always be important and unavoidable,...Show More Summary

The Wonderful Web of Oz

Did L. Frank Baum anticipate the Internet in 1920? I’ve been reading some of the Oz books to my little girl. These are great magical fairy tales and are available in the public domain and easy to find online. Glinda of Oz is the last of 14 that L. Show More Summary

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