Chris Aldrich points to this syllabus for creating a commonplace book.

At the art academy our art history teacher made us keep a journal for notes on things seen, done, experienced and to reflect on them. Making a start with formulating an opinion, taking a position. Felt awkward at first but turned out to be a very valuable exercise.

Today there's a vibrant niche of digital note taking tools that want to help in creating connected notes. Chris again, with a good overview of what's happening in this space.

All of which can help with getting a grip on your personal knowledge mastery (pkm).

What I'm interested in is doing this with visual artefacts as source material. What does visual pkm look like? Journaling, scrapbooking, collecting and the like. The most obvious tool is the sketchbook. How does a sketchbook work?

_ #bildung #creativejournal

Roy Scholten

Compilatie van aantekeningen.

#drawing #collage

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Onderstaande is een korte toelichting op het omslag van nummer 169 van de drukwerk in de marge nieuwsbrief in 2019.

Bij het omslag

The Public Domain Review presenteert bloemlezingen uit de vele collecties die ontsloten worden door musea, universiteiten en dergelijke. Eerder dit jaar werd daar het boek Hamonshu voorbij (1), geheel gewijd aan verschillende manieren om water te tekenen. Van naturalistische, wild bruisende kronkels tot strak geometrisch gestileerde patronen. Drie delen met enkel en alleen variaties op het thema water. Zowel marginaal als universeel. Prachtig.

Zo’n 500 jaar voor aanvang van onze jaartelling wist Heraclitus het al: Panta Rhei, alles stroomt (2). Verandering is de enige constante. En ja, het stromende water van de rivier is daarbij het archetypische beeld.

In september, oktober en november van dit jaar is het volop “Grafiek 2019” in Nederland (3). Het overkoepelend thema: Panta Rhei. Ook Grafisch Ateler Hilversum doet mee met Grafiek 2019. We zullen dan onder andere de geheimen van het drukken met Lego onthullen.

Op de Boekkunstbeurs van 2018 werd ik uitgenodigd om het omslag van een editie van deze nieuwsbrief te verzorgen. Hiervoor startte ik een onderzoek naar patronen in Lego die water, stroom, stroming kunnen verbeelden. Op de voorkant twee resultaten. Op de achterkant een opsomming van de rapporten waarmee deze en andere patronen gemaakt kunnen worden.

Scans van de individuele elementen werden digitaal verwerkt tot een ontwerp, dat daarna weer tot analoge zetvorm werd gemaakt middels polymeer. Het papier is 225 grams Simili Japon van Van Gelder. De oplage werd gedrukt door Joop Klomp op de Heidelberg pers van Grafisch Atelier Hilversum (4). Joop was van 1955 tot 1980 drukker en chef bij drukkerij de Blauwe Werelt in Hilversum.


1: Yuzan, Mori. “Hamonshu: A Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1903).” The Public Domain Review, Smithsonian Libraries,

2: Heraclitus. Wikipedia, 18 juni 2019,

3: Stichting Grafein. Grafiek2019. 18 juni 2019,

4: Een korte video van het drukproces is te vinden op

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Spotted a couple Eurasian hobbies over the last couple of days. Small falcons that catch and eat insects in flight. All just on my regular walk.

_ These weeknotes are turning into lists of things I wanted to look into, instead of things actually done, read, looked into. To fix: not rely on bookmarks alone but consult daily notes from my own practice as well. Keep writing those daily notes.


Concept mapping

_ > The connection between Maps and Cynefin is Max Boisot's I-Space. Says @swardley. See also. Knowledge assets moved to top of the reading stack. Long live

_ A pithy critique of one-size-fits-all solutioning in The Usual Suspects (Operating Model anti-patterns) by Adrew Blain. For example, on customer journeys:

Customer Journeys are great focal point in some contexts. However, it is also entirely appropriate for some parts of your organisation to be organised around business processes, platforms, capabilities, value streams or objectives.

Content architecture

_ So very spot on by @TatianaTMac. Paraphrased:

“Content modeling for content management systems combines figuring out how to do something both resiliently and flexibly, balancing the human tendency to break rules”.

_ The Training Is Coming From Inside the CMS is an interesting look at how to surface what kind of help text and guidance was needed, and where to put it in context of the actual tool.
via @storyneedle

_ Here's @hiredthought making sure he doesn't have to start from a blank page.

Visual research & printmaking

_ I never got the hang of email lists, but here's a public listserv to support interdisciplinary research into matrices/printing surfaces (eg cut woodblocks, etched and engraved metal plates, litho stones).

_ Currently reading: Reading Images. In our increasingly Western visual culture, visual literacy is an important skill but underrepresented in education, if at all. The authors propose an analytical framework for reading images. Quite heavy on the academic jargon and long-running sentences, but so far, worth it.


_ Linked Riddim Warfare by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid last time, and returned to it a couple times more. Holds up well. _ Mono, but still looking for their debut album Under the Pipal Tree that is not amazon or apple music.

_ #weeknotes 2021-21

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Rub eens een kliko.

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“It is the business of the future to be dangerous”

Leadership is an obsolete legacy tech. Small groups of 20 to 100 people are the primary organisms within human society – in contrast to individuals, corporations, and nation states. – @jornbettin in response to one of those dialogic twitter threads by @swardley. Just like hierarchy, linearity does not sit well with complex scenarios, see this thread on the problems with roadmaps as timelines.


The “information explosion” may seem like an acutely modern phenomenon, but we are not the first generation—or even the first species—to wrestle with the problem of information overload.


_ Styling underlines with CSS was what I was looking into last week. On the internet, you can find a lot of helpful info on building the internet. Here's a classic deep dive on the topic of designing link underlines. Once again via Scratching the Surface

_ Structured content bits: > The metadata construct of a thing determines its ability to scale. @hpdailyrant. I'm wondering if this would be specific to assigned, or pre-loaded metadata. Content can accrue additional metadata during its lifecycle: ratings, shares, number of views, age, references. When writing, Ian Lynam reminds us to consider the balance between timely and timeless. This seems to speak to the same point, but applied to the content itself, not its metadata.

How to categorise content by Elle Geraghty. Useful set of ways of analysing and grouping a bunch of content.

Information: A historical Companion, via @storyneedle

_ Buying fonts is fun and can quickly become costly. Mixed feelings about this new hobby. But: Tryptich is fun, affordable and based on a cool concept.

_ Sounds – Dj Spooky*: Riddim Warfare, Synthetic Fury, – ScannerfunkNew EsoctrilihumDisparaitre

#weeknotes 2021-20

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“Mark-making is where design and writing hold hands” *

Yvonne Lam on usefulness/comprehension of making vs. reading large diagrams. The act of drawing the diagram is where the understanding happens, not while reading it back. Related to where Dave Snowden claims that any model that can't be quickly drawn on a napkin is not very useful. Maybe multiple smaller diagrams work better than one big one. I would think so, especially when multiple zoom levels and/or perspectives are involved. Also, the drawing process has a linear progress, starting from an empty canvas, gradually building up the model, so that understanding can follow along. A finished diagram does not tell that part of the story, especially if in the layout there is no clear and obvious way in.

@ruthmalan adds important considerations. If the value is in the doing while, it becomes essential to consider who is there when it happens. Otherwise the diagram might be just another tree in the forest that nobody heard fall over.

So again, it comes down to the process of drawing the diagram. Repeatedly, with different audiences as needed.


Oh, this beautiful little thread about an even smaller little psalter (containing the Book of Psalms often with bonus tracks) from around 1280. There's mentions of “puzzle” initials with “frogspawn” penwork and I need to learn more about the terminology around this. This glossary helps and this is a lovely explanation of how different parts of the text on the page relate, but I'm specifically looking for the anatomy descriptors for illuminated initials.

Related find: Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art and Architecture


Starting a newsletter is the best thing you can do for your design system. Newsletters as human-readable release notes plus context and empathy?


Reading too much about writing instead of writing but: – Writing for the design mind by Natalia Ilyin.* – FireSigns: a semiotic theory for graphic design by Steven Skaggs – This thread


Sounds: – Still in high rotation: Parallel 1 – Finding out about Sleaford Mods via this very funny video. Blog maggot! – The rough and basic setup of Sleaford Mods reminded me of Heavyweighter by Sensational. – My answer to that tweet asking for top 5 bands listened to in highschool. With bonus insight.

_ #weeknotes 2021-18

Roy Scholten

_ Weekendje weg in Schoorl: Tapuit, Zilvermeeuw, Kluut, Huismus, Tjiftjaf, Scholekster, Spreeuw, Gele Kwikstaart, Slobeend, Merel, Graspieper, Blauwe reiger, Groenling, Bontbekplevier, Fuut, Grutto, Meerkoet, Grote stern, Kneu, Kievit, Boerenzwaluw, Witte kwikstaart, Koolmees, Kauw, Wilde eend, Pimpelmees, Kraai, Waterhoen, Ekster, Roodborst, Torenvalk, Buizerd, Grauwe gans, Kokmeeuw, Zanglijster, Aalscholver, Nijlgans, Lepelaar, Bergeend.

_ “This 12th-century drawing is my favorite picture of a knight on horseback ever.”

_ “You don't look for 'em, but I think every composer's got some idea of ideal proportions that suits personal taste. You take your raw material, your notes, your visual elements or whatever it's gonna be, and you strike up balances between loud and soft, fast and slow, many and few, thick and thin. It's like cooking, or building a mobile. The contrasts help define the structure, and at the same time they're part of the elements that are being structured. Know what I mean?”

From Interview with the Composer – Zappa Wiki Jawaka.

_ Graphic Designers Have Always Loved Minimalism. But At What Cost? By Jarrett Fuller, yes, he from the Scratching the Surface podcast.

_ Elementary cellular automata, by Seth Brown.

_ Sounds: – A new DJ mix to capture the best of a vintage Nineties Japanese dance music sound. Think of it as retromania for retromania.. – Eschaton Mémoire by Chaos Moon is a black metal masterpiece.

_ #weeknotes 2021-16

Roy Scholten

The impossibility of silence by Ian Lynam. Writing for designers, artists, and photographers. Introduces useful concepts to consider without getting prescriptive. Guidelines, not rules. Made a few things click for me. Good stuff.

_ Promising results of three short monoprinting sessions over the last week. See header image. First pass in black ink combining two cut-out capital letters and assorted patterns. Second pass consisted of printing a solid square of yellow ink over each page. Another even shorter single printing session together with M. produced even more exhilirating results. But that's all still in the exploratory phase.

_ You all did see No. 10 Family office right?

_ MIT Press offers open access to Design Issues. Via brilliantcrank.

_ Inks and paints of the Middle East.

_ Finally succumbed and purchased license to use Brabo, the eloquent type I mentioned here before.

_ Sounds: Misnomer by Four Tet. I Hadn't Known (I Only Heard) / So Now... by Matthew Herbert. Gnosis by Spectral Lore.

_ #weeknotes 2021-15

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