Contact the ACID Lab

Interest piqued? You're in good company: most organizations struggle to solve complex and seemingly intractable problems. The ACID Lab seeks to bring the power and craft of comics to a broad range of professional fields (education, healthcare, design, journalism, public policy, software, etc.). If you need storyboards, flows, cartooning, experience design, whiteboard craft, graphic facilitation or recording, let’s talk. If you don’t know what you need: even better! We should still touch base. Applied cartooning isn't for everyone, but it might be right for you, and working with me won't make things worse.

I am happy to provide work samples and references upon request.

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home

This is the homepage of the Applied Cartooning Innovation and Design (ACID) Lab, which offers organizations arts-informed problem-solving services.

How do you  model thoughts? 

How can you make your voice seen?

How do you hold on to your vision?

How can you listen to a drawing?

 

If you have to make your thoughts visible in order to communicate and act, I can help. I’m an applied cartoonist: I use arts-informed methods like graphic facilitation and journeymapping to show you your ideas and push you to manage your ambiguity.

What do I mean by managing ambiguity? Business and art are both preoccupied with change — which is just a fact of life.  So rather than attempt to reduce ambiguity, I think we should use applied cartooning to understand what's changing, get more comfortable with what's possible, and reconfigure our responses to an uncertain world.

The adventure of understanding

I’ve been a teacher, performance artist, painter and user experience designer...Often simultaneously. That’s a good thing for clients like Monster.com, HubSpot, Tesla, Progressive Insurance, New Balance, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Fidelity Investments (among others). When these clients partner with the ACID Lab, they get access to all my skills without having to pick a specialty. We expose vulnerabilities and opportunities, and then clients choose their own adventure. Throughout the work, participants are invited (Actually? they’re required) to draw solutions that fit their problems, and be accountable for what they make. After we're done, organizations obtain valuable outcomes, such as being able to picture their mission, make sense of their customers' unmet needs, or communicate more effectively about a web product.

Applied cartooning is not art and it’s not science. It's a hands-on problem-solving practice that combines left-brain and right-brain activity. Working with the ACID Lab prompts organizations to see their products, processes and culture more clearly through tangible artifacts like maps, diagrams, prototypes, comics, and other narrative objects of all kinds.

applied cartooning in action

The benefits of beating inertia.

I took visual notes while scientists described a migraine-blocking peptide. The metaphors I drew were streamed live to an offsite team.

Katlyn writes on a "wallpaper".

I taught an ecommerce group a visual language that increased the effectiveness of their communication.

A grid of possible journeys.

I introduced visual ethnography to customers so they could draw their own journeymaps. We graphed these journeys to find quantitative trends.

Katie makes a mobile prototype.

I helped spark, evaluate and improve original service ideas, then demonstrated how to build them into low-fidelity, “plausible” prototypes.

Physical prototyping.

Using disposable materials, I assisted a toy manufacturer test their augmented-reality application.

A 3-D wireframe.

With wireframes that extended into the third dimension, a global innovation and design firm could translate their process to the web.

How can applied cartoOning help you?

As communication becomes more image-driven, applied cartooning becomes more useful to a broader audience. Many organizations in healthcare, business, and education are already using visual practices to find customer-centricity, get stakeholders on the same page, and boost the impact of innovation.

I can assist you with a range of offerings:

  • Half, full, or multiple-day workshops
  • Week-long journeymapping, idea development or prototyping intensives
  • Quarterly commitments earmarked for specific in-depth work, a planned long-term initiative, or to provide ad-hoc applied cartooning to multiple teams.

There are no cookie-cutter tools. Nothing is predetermined except for the duration of the contract. Engagements usually start with a low-cost meeting to build a “playbook” of approaches that guides our collaboration. 

Please click on the envelope icon above to reach me. I'll use the information you provide to shape our next conversation.  Thank you for your interest in the ACID Lab!

 
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