"Tracking nearly anything you do is alarming and humbling. The aggregates of our actions are lost on us: we can watch hundreds of hours of television and write it off as a small time commitment. How much is too much? It’s hard to make pretty charts without learning something and thinking about what they should look like." - Tom MacWright.
I have been recently introduced to the world of info graphics and been completely taken aback by how beautiful they can be. It seems like the most perfect solution for my simultaneous urge to be extremely neurotic and organised and my relentless love for well designed things... except I am not sure I have the stamina for it now after a university tutor introduced me to Feltron by Nicholas Felton. He makes exquisite graphs, tables and charts... yup, exquisite. So intricate, considered and innovative is is display statistics, it blows my mind.
If you go to his website you can view his really strange/interesting 'Personal Annual Reports' that he records, collates and designs himself...about himself. From the number of times he interacted with a particular person that year, where he ate most often, his emotional states, number of photos he took in China... etc. He collates the information by recording it down himself, or by leaving cards with people he interacts with during the day which has details on where they can leave something about their impression of Felton online. Felton then goes on to read through all this data and deduce it into these reports. Really crazy. He also has these annuals printed at a letterpress with embossing and the lot, and people pay $$$ for them. I love the work, but I'm not sure how I feel about about having someone else's personal statistics on my wall embossed.
Felton has also co-created the website DAYTUM which allows you to follow your own habits, ways you spend your time etc. I haven't signed up but it seems intriguing to follow how I use my time.. or don't use my time. I was just glimpsing the first page and a user on DAYTUM had a recently added statistic to his/her category of 'how my time is spent in exile'.Wow. I just looked again and someone updated the particular way they ate Nandos, it was chicken breast in a Pita or something similar wowowow.
Oh and to top it all off he works on the design team at Facebook. Good work Zuckerberg - this guy is amazing...possibly insane, but amazing.
Here are some examples of his work. I'm sorry I couldn't upload the images bigger, you'll just have to visit Feltron instead (edit: click on the images - then they enlarge..duh!). Below; 293 is the number of Stella Artois he enjoyed socially during 2009.
Images via Feltron and Andrew Kuo for the NY Times Magazine.