The Metropolis Observed - February 2001
3-D Tufte

At the same time information designer Edward Tufte tackled ways of compressing three-dimensional material into a two-dimensional format for his second book (Envisioning Information, 1990), he set out to develop an object that no flat view could adequately capture. The result is the stainless-steel sculpture Escaping Flatland-each of its surfaces is a changing 2-D experience. "The surface is like a mirror that reflects the value, hue, and saturation of color but no shapes," Tufte says. "Because it's incredibly responsive to light, perpetual color-field studies emerge." However, the champion of visual complexity cautions against too closely equating the sculpture with his information graphics: "It may just be that a person who loves to see things did both." -Kristi Cameron

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