The challenge for this year’s National Academy was to “think spatially and graphically.” And it certainly got visual.

Standard issue Sharpie allotment for the National Academy (Photo by John Markwell)

The model of political order Will developed through his work with the National Academy over the years was presented as our launch pad this year. It’s where our three weeks started in contrast to years past where it was slowly revealed as an ultimate landing zone. Each seminar included time to think inside and throughout the visual models presented. Will shared what the models represented as well as how they had developed and often continue to do so.

Participants tried their hands at transforming texts into their own models and re-made Hobbes’s Leviathan as a comic strip. These represented real power and imagination even if they lacked the whimsy of a small boy and his stuffed tiger! The writing projects submitted and the final presentations all included excellent examples of visual thinking. And, even better, they demonstrated the power of these strategies to supercharge thinking inside (and outside) the classroom.We’re collecting it all and building a great portfolio space we’re calling “Seeing in Politicolor.” One panel presentation investigated the Federalists and Antifederalists use of of light and dark in communicating their

Chibuzo, Mike, Randy and Ndudi enjoying dinner together on the bluff

political visions. They have posted their work here and we have encouraged others to follow their lead. As other groups and individuals agree to share their work, we’ll post it here. And everyone is invited to keep this community working together well into the future by writing for Politicolor.

We can’t wait to see what you’re thinking!

Kelly, Rebecca, Lisa and Lavinia at an L.A. favorite, the Getty