Monday, July 2, 2012

An interview about infographics and visual literacy

I've just been interviewed at Visual Loop, a website about infographics and visualization. Here is the question that intrigued me the most:

Your experience as an Educator provided you with a unique vision about the teaching of information design in the context of educational policies. Therefore, the question: at what point should Tufte be a mandatory read in the classroom?

I believe you are asking when we should start teaching principles of graphic display to our children. The answer is: as soon as possible, I think. Kids should learn how to read and create graphics from a very young age. Most kids are natural-born artists, as we humans are a visual species. We should take advantage of that, as graphics and illustrations can be such a powerful weapon for understanding and communicating. This is not a new idea: Rufolf Arnheim proposed it in his classic
Visual Thinking, and I wholeheartedly agree with him. Some educational systems are taking a few steps: a few months ago, for instance, I felt happy to see that my kid, who is in Kindergarten, was learning how to read a very simple bar chart (see post).