Manuel Lima studies how information can be organized — into elegant and beautiful diagrams that illustrate the many unexpected twists of big data.

Why you should listen

Data expert Manuel Lima approaches intimidatingly dry stacks of bits with the eye of a designer. His website, VisualComplexity, is an encyclopedic and visually stunning catalog of the myriad paths artists take to illuminate the shadowy corners of stockpiled information, whether it’s a taxonomy of rap names or tracking oil money.

Lima’s passion for data has also driven him to become a historian. In The Book of Trees, he digs to the 12th-century roots of the tree diagram, one of humanity’s most powerful and ancient tools for visually representing knowledge.

What others say

“Lima endeavors to make sense of all the myriad ways -- computer-aided to hand-drawn -- to communicate data.” — Ad Age, February 10, 2009

Manuel Lima’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Manuel Lima

Live from TED

Creative ignition: A recap of Session 7 of TED2015

March 18, 2015

Bill T. Jones performs a collaborative improv with music from cellist Joshua Roman and vocalist Somi, at TED2015: Truth and Dare, Session 7. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED Where does creativity come from? In Session 7 of TED2015, we explore its bounds in design, art, dance, music, data visualizations and urban planning. Stay beginners. “As humans, we get used […]

Continue reading