This page lists all the past projects that have shaped my current work and style. I no longer make this kind of work, but I show it here so you can see how I have evolved as a person and as a designer.
Straight out of studying life sciences, I studied interdisciplinary design strategy at the Institute without Boundaries. This was a post-graduate program housed in George Brown College in Toronto. It was a hands-on program and I was exposed to the design of the world. It was the first time I learned photography, film, exhibition design, book design, presentation skills, storytelling, human-centred design, product design, service design, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, typography, branding, and so much more.
Here’s a short summary of the program and what we achieved:
Throughout the year, we designed and created several public exhibitions:
There was a large emphasis at putting the user at the centre of the design process. In the project below, I made a Prompt Box that surveyed the local community.
We prototyped all of our ideas for all of our projects. Iteration and prototyping continues to be embedded in my process. It is key to testing ideas and learning if I am on the right track about solving a problem.
We were heavily grilled on how to write well. We crafted reports and briefs. When I write complex articles now, I use the same process I developed when I was in design school. My writing process involves writing concepts and ideas on sticky notes. As I develop the flow, I re-arrange the sticky notes until something interesting emerges.
After graduating, I had a hard time finding work. I applied to many design agencies but had no luck getting an interview. After a couple of months, I accidentally got a job at a very small start-up. It was an operations role and it didn’t have anything to do with design. I was grateful for my experience there. I learned a lot from my boss about life and work. My noss became my mentor and we continue to be in contact. As I worked at this job, I knew that it wasn’t where I expected myself to be. I spent a lot of time investing my evenings and weekends to experiment with different things to see what I was good at and what I liked.
Looking back, I was going out a couple times a month networking with people in the city. I went to meet-ups, design jams, and all sorts of events. I did everything I could to get somewhere.
Designing with numbers
I continued to work at the start-up. I kept on exploring. I had an affinity to information design and invested a lot of time exploring personal projects.
I was starting to develop an interest in visualizing personal data. It was a reflective process and I could be more creative with storytelling.
Developing a personal style
I started my job at Kantar as a Data Designer in the summer of 2017. I continued to develop personal projects during my own time. Creating my own projects became a habit that was hard to shake off. I liked the creative freedom it brought me. I was hungry to create. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think I was trying to figure out who I was through my projects.
I made all sorts of things in all sorts of mediums. I kept trying to stretch my limits on what was possible.
I kept leaning towards work that captured personal data. I continue to make this type of work. I call them Data Documentaries. They are data visualizations that are similar to film documentaries, except it’s told through data. I think there’s a lot interesting things we can learn about life and people through mundane data. Through my experimentations, it helped me define a piece that helped me establish a vision for my work. A great example of this work is when I collected data on my mental and physical health.
Up to this point, most of the stuff I made was confined to one page. I wanted to tell longer narratives, so I started to explore print work. My projects kept getting more ambitious and I designed a booklet based on the IKEA catalogue.
Visualizing the world
I was getting frustrated with how hard it was to consume information in the world. I saw a lot of ways to improve how we can improve the user experience of communication. I tackled this idea with a project that visualized a design festival agenda.
I left my job at Kantar in the summer of 2019. I kept exploring my vision for data visualization through projects. I was interested in making things that were useful to people. The idea of injecting data visualization into mediums that don’t usually use data to communicate information was appealing to me. I pushed this idea further with a travel guide.
2020 was when I solidified my vision for data visualization. I had a better grasp of who I was and how I could contribute to society. I kept exploring Data Documentaries as I tried to better understand myself. In addition, I was gravitating towards work that was useful to people. Work that would help others better understand how to think about the world. Data visualization has a tendency to focus on showing the ‘what’. I wanted to push the limits on teaching people to think the ‘how’. I came up with a new term of Viz the World. This work aims to leverage data visualization in places that don’t normally see them. Food menus, product catalogues, board games, recipes, etc. I want to explore all of life through data visualization.