In case you were wondering, no, I haven’t forgotten about the SIMD project. Far from it. I am finding my new space offers a definite thinking-advantage, simply by virtue of being less crowded and cluttered.
For instance, I am currently the owner of a big blank wall (although there is a plan to store table looms here by hanging them on big hooks, this plan is as yet unrealised) and so I have been trying out possible shapes and sizes with sheets of newsprint.
Each one of these rectangles represents one piece of weaving, and each piece of weaving represents a geographical area — though I haven’t decided which areas I’m going to focus on or even how many there are going to be.
I’ve also been thinking about colours, which is a tricky business. Should the colours be meaningful in some way? What meaning — or whose meaning, perhaps — should they carry? I’ve been playing around with the colour exercises from James Koehler’s class at Convergence 2010, which give me a way of developing colours associated with themes and ideas. But there is also an argument for a more functional approach, where the colours are chosen simply for visual contrast.
There is a tendency for managers who need to consider statistics to want to see them in ‘traffic light’ colours. In this scheme, green means that things are going really well and red means that there is a problem. This easily transmutes into green = goes in the annual report as a good news story, red = intervene! have a meeting! and neither-red-nor-green = ignore and do nothing. Although it can be a handy code in certain circumstances, it is also an exceedingly annoying system — as well as being a problem for anyone who is red-green colour blind. Much as I love red and green, then… I am not going to use them in that way here.
Although my pastel sketches are all wonky and messy, the colour changes I’m planning do in fact need to be very precise to represent the dataset. So I’ve also been playing around with double weave drafts and changing layers one end at a time. If I use 8 shafts for each layer then that gives me nine ‘stages’ from all-layer-one on top to all-layer-two on top with seven intermediate steps in between. I have described this plan verbally to several folk (with a lot of hand-waving and interlocking of fingers!) which means that I now feel as though I am repeating myself, even though I am pretty sure I haven’t blogged about it… Or maybe I have and I’ve just lost track in all the upheaval. Anyway, I’ll come back to this later when I get to the actual weaving part.