Monday, May 20, 2013

Drawing code: Bret Victor's visualization dreams

Drawing Dynamic Visualizations from Bret Victor on Vimeo.

If you haven't watched the video above, do yourself a favor. As a journalist and designer who has a hard time when forced to code something, a tool like the one showcased in it would be a dream come true. I think in words and pictures, and I like to design with words and pictures as well, by manipulating* them, by dragging, dropping, moving, and scaling them, rather than by defining their features through obscure programming languages, which feel unnatural. At the same time, I acknowledge that learning to code is liberating (it is appropriate to mention Douglas Rushkoff's famous book here), so I would like to find a way to reconcile what I feel with what I need. Bret Victor defines himself as a "purveyor of impossible dreams" in his website, by the way. I really hope that this label will be proved inaccurate.

*The verb to manipulate comes in part from manus, which means hand in Latin. Read more.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I didn't know of Bret Victor until I saw this--what a discovery! All of his other videos should be viewed by anyone curious about UI, data visualization and thinking in new and creative ways.

    This one, a talk called Inventing on Principle, isn't on his Vimeo page but it's really excellent:

  2. Thanks for the links. Yes, The stuff he showcases in his website is consistently informative and engaging.

  3. Does anyone know where to get the tool he is using?