Thursday, October 6, 2011

Muriel Cooper: A Genius in 3D Visualization

Muriel Cooper (1928-1995) set up a group at MIT called the Visible Language Workshop. She was a graphic designer so you might think the title should have been the Graphic Design Workshop, but her life seems to be all about double-clicking into processes and procedures and coming up not only with new designs but new ways of thinking.
For example, she developed the iconic MIT Press logo:

So her workshop was not about ordinary typography but much more an explration as how ideas can be communicated more effectively - especially given the new technology that were being made available to her.

The above image was shown as part of the TED talk she in Monterrey CA in 1994. The video, Information Landscapes, was built using a $250,000 SGI workstation. It's work that could be re-created in real-time on a smartphone today. And yet these are visualizations that people are just beginning to build.