As a marketing guy who’s still mastering the whole opposable thumbs thing, I’m always impressed by our visual design clients–people like real estate developers, architects, interior designers and general contractors, who have the ability to transform a blank canvas into large scale, mixed-use developments for human use. When done thoughtfully, it’s awesome!
Kirk Goldberry did a nice job capturing the importance of developing more of these “visual” people in his Harvard Business Review article, The Importance of Spatial Thinking Now. In it, he explained how we’ve lost momentum in spatial design ever since geographical training was predominantly removed from higher education in the 1940s. He explains how the resulting skills-deficit can hurt us, especially in an age where big data sets must be crafted into visually digestible communications.
Working with my talented clients, the article helped me realize how vital it is for us to keep developing visualization skills. I see the results every day in the form of concept sketches, blueprints and site plans. And in our online world where designs are no longer limited to physical constructions, Goldberry has convinced me that now, more than ever, it’s important for young designers to reconnect with the long lost art of geographical visualization.
It’s an exciting time. I can’t wait to see how powerful computers, big data and a renewed commitment to visual design education from places like Harvard will help us live better, work smarter, and learn more.
Check out the article and let me know what you think.