Wes Grubbs

Wesley Grubbs is the founder of Pitch Interactive, a data visualization and interactive studio that focuses on new technologies to solve complex needs. With a mix of both creative talent and programming ability, Wesley and his team build visuals that are as fluid and artistic as they are statistically sound. Their designs engage and educate viewers in what would otherwise be daunting volumes of information.

Reflecting the philosophy that data visualization should be strongly connected to the lives and events from which it is derived, Wesley's designs are largely influenced by forms found in nature. Wesley dissects large datasets in search of meaningful and often hidden patterns that serve to determine the shape and form that best tells a story. His aim is for visual depictions that not only inform, but also bridge the divide between economics and creativity.

Pitch Interactive's visuals have been commissioned by major national and international publications including WIRED, SPIN, Fortune, GEO and Esquire magazines. His work was part of the Science Express train, a rolling science museum in Germany and China by the Max Planck Foundation and also a large interactive micro-tile wall inside the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Wesley's body of work spans illustrations, physical installations, console game user interfaces, applications, websites and textiles. Among many accolades, Pitch Interactive was recently awarded the Sunlight Foundation's Design for America Award for their work with federal budget data.

Session: Beyond the Bar Graph (A Visual Narrative with Data)

As the use of data visualization is growing exponentially across practically every profession today, we can see now that the way we understand complex relationships can't always speak to us through an x- and y-axis. Sometimes we need more thought provoking depictions of data, just as we do with music and literature, to understand the world around us. Design theory is being applied to tell a story and give a visual narrative in diagrams more often than ever before. Is this a good thing or a wrongful manipulation of facts? Wes will demonstrate the importance of visual metaphors and their effectiveness, especially when drawing complex, multi-dimensional relationships.

Class: Data Viz 101 – Getting Started with Data Visualization

Jer and Wes will discuss the process of visualizing data. How to collect data, analyze it, and ultimately work with it to create visualizations, are the key points of focus in this class. This class is geared for anyone new to data visualization or those with experience who'd like to brush up on their skills. While no previous programming experience is required, to fully participate in the class, you should have Processing 1.5 or later installed. Download it at Processing.org.

Class: Data Viz 201 - Tips and Techniques in Visualizing Data

Jer, Wes and Moritz will discuss the process in visualizing data. They'll share some creative tips, techniques and tools they commonly use to visualize data. This workshop is for anyone interested in a more advanced creative and technical process of visualizing data. Any tools (i.e. Processing) or downloadable source content associated with the class will be posted here beforehand.

Panel: Visualizing Complex Issues

How is data visualization changing how we investigate and understand complex issues -- from cities to economies to human behavior. We'll use recent work from the panelists along with other projects at various scales to explore what we can now know through big data and design.

Moderated by Adam Bly with panelists Amanda Cox, Moritz Stefaner and Wes Grubbs.