What is graphic facilitation?

Turnstone’s explanatory handdrawn pictures record, reflect, clarify and interpret our clients’ illustrative words in real time, to appeal to audiences who are tired of click-through presentations and unspeakable clipart.

Live scribing projects include conferences, workshops and meetings at:
Rockefeller Foundation (for Municipal Arts Society), Amnesty International, Museum of Modern Art, Center for Jewish History, Cornell Tech, University of Toronto, University of Sussex, F5 Networks’ Agility 2015 conference, Ludic Group (for various commercial clients) and others.

Also see Turnstone’s latest animation, An Inquiry into the Future of Work, completed for the Open Society Foundations, in Fall 2014.

UN General Assembly, New York, 2015

During the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly, 193 member states adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for people and the planet. During six interactive sessions at the Sustainable Development summit during the UN GA, two illustrators recorded the statements of political and civic leaders on topics including ending poverty and inequality, strengthening institutions, and mitigating climate change. Turnstone was honored to be one of those illustrators. The UN web site has documented the drawings produced during those three historic days, here, including a short film of the illustrations (audio optional). The UN also published this interview on the UN blog about our work.

MAS, Rockefeller Foundation, Italy, 2015

Marking ten years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, The Municipal Arts Society of New York convened a conference on urban resilience in March 2015, hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy. Thirty representatives came together to tell stories from countries, regions and cities that have responded to, recovered from and rebuilt after significant natural disasters that have struck over the past 30 years. During the week, delegates from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, Tohoku/Fukushima, Japan, The Philippines, Mexico City, Cuba, Haiti, Christchurch NZ, New Orleans, New York shared their insights for future planning, concluding that resilience is as much about social cohesion and civic collaboration as it is about government infrastructure and private sector resources.

Amnesty, Human Rights Education conference, Senegal, 2013

Annually, the international human rights organization gathers its education and outreach staff for an internal conference. In 2013, Amnesty hosted its Human Rights Education conference in Saly, Senegal, addressing an international audience of delegates from 45 countries in three languages. During the week, Turnstone scribed sessions on best practices, campaigns on HIV prevention, sexual rights, and empowering campaigners and other topics.

Comics and Medicine, Canada and UK, 2012-13

Comics and Medicine is an annual conference for a significant, interdisciplinary and surprisingly cheerful community of doctors, healthcare communicators and graphic novelists. For five years, this international group gathers to share work in progress and best practice in the field of visual medical communication. Medics journaling their training, patients and carers navigating chronic illness, public health professionals educating specific populations, medical illustrators come together to share their cartoons, comics, graphic novels and educational materials. In 2012, Turnstone scribed the keynote, by Harvey Pekar’s widow, Joyce Brabner, on their last collaboration “Our Cancer Year” and in 2013, Davide B. on his graphic novel on epilepsy.

Museum of Modern Art, Cornell University, F5, Ludic Group, New York, DC and Houston TX, 2011-2015

Turnstone regularly scribes during internal strategy sessions for corporate clients and their guest speakers. We have done so for academic, cultural, energy, technology and financial sector clients.


Project details

Clients Parsons School of Design x ESSEC Business School, Paris
Grimshaw Architects
National Film and Television School, UK
United Nations Foundation for the UN General Assembly 2015
F5 Networks, Inc.
Municipal Arts Society NY, at the Rockefeller Foundation
Museum of Modern Art
Jacobs Technion, Cornell Institute
Amnesty, Human Rights Education conference
Comics & Medicine conferences
Ludic Consulting
Years 2011-22+
Locations US, Canada, Italy, Senegal
Turnstone's role Graphic facilitator, visual scribe

Additional resources