footage by Steve Delahoyde, Delahoyde Projects

Live Immersion with International Visual Thinking Expert Brandy Agerbeck

The possibilities and potential of your visual practice is immense. Discover and develop your unique visual thinking skills in The Lab. 

Enter Brandy Agerbeck's unparalleled visual thinking workshop experience, Lab,  and give yourself the time, space, and tools to make your skills soar.

In this challenging, yet safe environment, we immerse ourselves in mapping concepts and conversations live and large. You and 5 other "lab partners" will be led in inquiry, exploration and growth of your visual practice.

Every Lab starts with the same exploratory exercise on our first morning together - then the agenda emerges from the needs of the people in the room.

Launching The Lab in 2012, Brandy always brings her 27 years of professional experience as a graphic facilitator and 40+ years of personal drawing experience to: 

  • Set up exciting, hands-on experiments
  • Facilitate deep discussion, and to guide your work
  • Give you indispensable guidance
  • Share direct, constructive feedback

Choose from 2  formats: 

🏙️ Chicago Lab

Join Brandy in Chicago for 3 full days and enjoy face-to-face discussion, and the space away from everyday distractions. Plus, get your hands on countless physical tools Brandy brings from her studio. 

Aug 7-9 | Click for details

💻 Virtual Lab

Alternatively, never leave the comfort of your home, office or studio with our online option. We meet 4 half days live for deep discussion, and you complete your drawings on your own time in between. 

Dates to come

Both formats are limited to 6 people with a registration fee of $3000 USD. 

This is your place to play, and time to shine! We learn by doing. 
You are in a supportive space to ask questions, test ideas, and get your hands on a treasure trove of visual tools.

Every one of us has our own unique visual voice. The Lab will strengthen yours.
Together, we grow our skills fast through cycles working side-by-side, followed by rich, constructive discussion. Get direct feedback from Brandy and learn even more from your lab partners. 

 Brandy is a world leader in teaching the thinking side of visual THINKING. Let's work those mental muscles!
Your Lab time makes you a more agile thinker, facilitator, communicator and problem solver.

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In Brandy's Lab, I was thoroughly delighted by the range and usefulness of the learning activities, the generous pack of resources, and materials Brandy provided and the match of feedback and suggestions to each participant's level. I would highly recommend this course to both complete beginners wanting to explore the idea of using visuals in their work/life and seasoned practitioners who bring their own experience and wish to expand their repertoire. Brandy shares her unique style and wealth of experience generously."

Michelle Walker, Creative Catalyst & Coach,
North Lismore, Australia | Chicago Lab 2015

Who is welcome in The Lab?

Visual thinkers, graphic facilitators, and anyone ready to experiment with and strengthen your visual practice:

New Visual Practitioners

You are new to the field and ready to dive in! Get a career catalyzer with Brandy's experience, guidance and constructive feedback. The Lab is a great space for starting strong and developing your own style

Experienced Visual Practitioners

Beyond beginner, but you are feeling isolated, in a rut, or like your work has plateaued. Join Brandy in The Lab to dive deep and reconnect to the power of your profession. We'll challenge your habits to shake things up and discover a new side of you

Visual Thinkers

You don't want to be a graphic facilitator when you grow up. You know visual thinking is pivotal to your work and you seek the time and space to strengthen your ability to listen, analyze, organize and synthesize. You'll return to your work upleveled to handle complexity with paper and pen. 

Visually Curious

You're not even sure why you're here! You're drawn to this kind of drawing or to Brandy as your guide. Perhaps you're at a crossroads and want to explore this path of visual practice. Welcome!

As of 2018, roughly 35% of our lab partners come specifically from the field of visual practice (graphic facilitators, graphic recorders, scribes), 65% come from adjacent fields or are looking to add visual practice to their repertoire or are at that visually curious crossroads. Brandy has hosted about 90 fine folks in The Lab from 19 countries so far. 

Our emergent agenda adapts to the people in the room. Brandy welcomes any level visual thinker with a willingness to work hard, experiment and have fun. While she definitely leads The Lab, the shared learning from each other is unparalleled.

What makes The Lab unique?

Watch this video to see The Lab's 3 differentiators: 1 Brandy as your guide  2 our laboratory approach and Brandy's strength to lead discussion and share constructive critique  3 our emergent agenda that adapts to your needs.

A couple notes on this 2012 video: 1 After the first Lab, I lowered the group size from 10 people to six to have more time for each person and to foster one discussion together. 2 Given that more lab partners aren't graphic facilitators, we rarely discuss the business side of graphic facilitation. We can, if all lab partners are interested in that topic.


"As an academic, I’m surrounded by information, which I need to build upon and teach to others. I’m a huge believer in a multisensory approach to learning, and visual thinking is such a powerful tool to include in a teaching repertoire. Attending The Lab with Brandy was an incredible opportunity and what I have learned about visual thinking has made a huge impact on my work, including my classroom pedagogy and note taking."

Dr. Nicole Cooke
Associate Professor and Librarian
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL USA
Chicago Lab 2018

What happens in The Lab?

Whatever we make happen. Brandy will bring her lifetime of drawing experience and 27 years of graphic facilitation experience to create the space and time for you to question, test, observe and learn from your work and the work of your colleagues.

You will have all the physical materials you need, though you're welcome to bring the tools you like, or something you've been wanting to test out. Content will be provided for us to map and we'll map our own conversations. Brandy will have some experiments at the ready, but our days are wide open to the needs of you and your 5 colleagues.

We will definitely be mapping video and audio content in real-time and at a large scale. We will observe each others' maps of the same content as a crucial way to get into the nuance of graphic facilitation. Beyond those foundational exercises, our time is what we make of it.

You can try mapping blindfolded. You can try mapping with no words or only words. We can embark on a field trip to the Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Millennium Park, all within easy walking distance of our Lab's location, the Summit Executive Centre.

The Lab is the time and space for the 7 of us to explore and deepen our visual practice.

You will have my support and all the materials you need.

Please bring your questions, your observations and perspectives and most importantly, an openness to experiment.

“Attending the Lab in Chicago was by far
the best investment I made
when I launched my own practice.
Brandy opened her door to generously
share decades of experience,
let us explore in a safe environment,
and pointed us to essential principles
that she demonstrated first hand.
We could ask her any question.
No other class is as deep and as personalized
in the field of graphic facilitation."

Guillaume Wiatr, Principal
Presentation coaching
for business executives.
Seattle, WA, USA
Chicago Lab 2017

Photo courtesy of GeekWire

💻 Ready to join me in The Virtual Lab?

Dates to come

The Virtual Lab is 4 half-days, timed for mornings in Chicago. Between live sessions we draw on our own and post to a shared MURAL board. This lets us dedicate our live time together to feedback and discussion.  

Monday: 8:00 to noon 
Tuesday: 8:00 to noon 
Wednesday: 8:00 to noon 
Thursday: No live session, time for redrawing previous work, reflection and practice.
Friday: 8:00 to noon, discussion, reflection, and wrap up

All times Chicago CST (GMT-5).

Plus you'll get a $50 voucher for Neuland to choose more tools after The Lab. 

Only 6 spots available.

The registration fee is $3000 USD.  

No Virtual Lab currently scheduled

The Virtual Lab: Update Summer 2021


🏙️ Ready to join me in The Chicago Lab?

Registration open: August 7-9, 2024

All Chicago Labs include the three-day retreat, plus breakfasts, lunches, beverages and snacks. All materials are included along with this unique access to me in a small group format. Plus you'll get your own kit of supplies to use and take home. 

Only 6 spots available.

The registration fee is $3000 USD. 

Our Chicago Location

Our CHICAGO location, the Summit Executive Centre, is located at 205 North Michigan Avenue. I chose this space for its flat walls, great, healthy food, terrific staff and stellar location. For example, the Summit is:

🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.4 miles / 600 meters to the Clark/Lake train stop. At this stop is both the Blue Line to O'Hare airport and the Orange Line to Midway airport. This is also the closest stop for the Brown, Pink and Green lines.

🙂🙂 0.2 miles / 300 meters from the closest Red Line train stop on public transit.

🙂 0.1 miles / 200 meters to Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center

🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.4 miles / 600 meters to the Art Institute of Chicago

🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.9 miles / 1.4 kilometers to the Museum of Contemporary Art

🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 0.8 miles / kilometers to Hostelling International Chicago, a hostel with a capacity of 500 people and no age restrictions.

Our location is steps away from many hotels. Details will be shared upon registration. And I hope you'll add time to your trip to explore my most favorite city.

“As a high school principal I use Brandy’s techniques to create visual agendas, capture meeting notes, develop strategic plans, and engage students and staff. Not a day goes by when I don’t have big charts on the wall or large whiteboards and papers in classrooms. Everyone benefits from thinking visually.  

My 3-day Lab experience in Chicago with Brandy has been my best learning ever in the “how-to” and “why” of graphic visualization skills. As an educator, my practice has been transformed and positively helps my students and staff learn more.  And, just so you know, I am having lots of fun with markers, and I confidently experiment all the time.

Many of my colleagues come my way asking for help as they, too, try to become visual practitioners. I smile and invite them to head to Chicago to meet Brandy.”


Beth Woof
Principal, Sherwood Secondary
Hamilton, ON, Canada
Chicago Lab 2018


Ground Rules for The Lab

With an open, emergent agenda, we are guided by these ways of working:

  • We enter The Lab with an open mind, a sense of humor and a willingness to do the work and learn from each other.
  • Each of us has valid experiences and opinions we bring into The Lab. The visual practice veterans have on-the-ground experience and plenty of tips and tricks and know-how. New folks bring in the beginners mind, ask "why" and "what if" and challenge our assumptions. Those joining us from adjoining fields bring us the insights from their industries. We learn from each other at all levels.
  • You do not have to love everyone, but you do have to respect everyone. We all create our space together for these three days.
  • We are colleagues, not clients. This is a sales-free zone.
  • Critique and feedback is the fastest way to learn and grow. We will share our observations in ways that are constructive and make us all better practitioners.
  • You manage yourself and your energy. We will have three, intense days together. You pace yourself. We want you to participate fully, but you are welcome to sit back for an exercise. Go take a walk if you need a breather. Party all night if it's what keeps you going.
  • Speak up for yourself! The Lab works with an emergent agenda. We need to know what you want to try, what questions you have, so we can make the most out of our time for everyone.

Those are the only requirements for The Lab.

Lab Partner Spotlight

Christina Hemmingsen
The Visual Project Manager

Helsingør, Denmark 
Danish Lab 2014

What surprised you or made you most happy during The Lab?

The intensity! With only 6 people, and a safe container for experimenting, we went NUTS, and really challenged, stretched, expanded our visual practice.

It was both in the conversations we had, and in the drawing we did.

What has been your biggest benefit from attending The Lab?

Trusting my own style!

What  improvements have you seen in your work post-Lab?

Loosening up the structure on the paper.

Making my drawing more coherent. Making my piece more integrated - one drawing, one story.

Focusing on supporting the group (and not on pretty drawings) - Process over product!

What was the best part of the environment of The Lab? 

The intimacy. The openness. The willingness to experiment and share.

What would you tell someone that is considering joining The Lab?

GO! You’ll get the chance to really challenge yourself, and to grow in your practice, so go.

If you were to recommend The Lab to your best friend, what would you say? 
You should 
join the lab because it’s a training like no other... it’s not a training, it’s a chance for you to be mentored, guided and challenged throughout 3 days. It’s a chance to learn from one of the most experienced visual practitioners. It’s a chance for you to connect with peers, and learn.

Who is NOT going to ❤️ The Lab

The Lab is a space for us to adapt to what the group needs and wants to do. Our agenda emerges from the group. We will learn by doing, more than learning from watching. If you like to dip your toe into the proverbial pool, you may not enjoy this dive into the deep end. If you like knowing what you'll be doing at 2:15 or knowing the exact agenda over three days, you are unlikely to feel comfortable with the openness of The Lab's schedule.

And yes, the Lab is a participatory process. Easily 80-90% of our lab partners self-identify as introverts. This work attracts introverts. If you are one, you are in brilliant company. This does tend to mean we get past chit chat quickly and into deeper discussion sooner.

If you have any questions about if The Lab is right for you, contact me.

English as a second language

The workshop is the conducted in English. About 40% of our past lab partners are non-Native English speakers.

I try my best to minimize my American idioms so everyone will understand. I adjust the content we map to work for our group (pacing and accents of speakers, content that's not so American- or English-language-culture centric). In workshops past, the native English speakers completely understand the challenge of mapping a conversation in a second language in a second language.

Lastly, make sure you rest well before, during and after. The Lab is intense even without the layers of live translation. 

Drawing as a foreign language

There will be a variety of levels of drawing experience in The Lab. You don't have to draw well, you just need to be willing to draw.

In my experience, about a third of visual practitioners come from the visual arts. Two-thirds from the people arts. Often when people draw well, the drawing gets in the way and they need to unlearn habits and learn to focus on process, not product.

Those who come from the people side usually have stronger listening skills and awareness of group dynamics. So crucial in working with groups, processes and complex systems. The drawing parts are very learnable and get better with practice. 

As I say in The Graphic Facilitator's Guide, drawing is a balance of listening, thinking and drawing skills. We all bring our strengths, weaknesses, and past experiences and roles into this work.

Experience levels

There are plenty of introductory visual thinking and graphic facilitation classes out there. Dipping your toes into the pool of visual practice.

Let's cannonball into the deep end. I am beside you. 

I welcome you to join me in this immersion. The three days will adapt to your questions and your needs. I believe the right people will be in the room. The veterans can look at their work with fresh eyes from the beginners. The inexperienced can learn from the experienced. We will all learn from our shared experience and experimentation.

That said, consider that we will balance your needs with the needs of others. If you feel like you'll have a metric ton of questions, you may want to do an introductory course first. If you are fine with sitting with your some of your questions and observing, you are welcome to swim with us.

Contact me if you have questions.

This reminds me of a time when I was a thwarted learner. As a ten-year-old, I attended a Girl Scout Jamboree. I wanted to go to the class on making a monkey's fist necklace, but the teacher insisted it was ages 12 and up. My scout leader stood up for me, but the teacher refused. I was furious. I knew I could make a frickin' frackin' monkey's fist knot.

This story is to illustrate that if you share this defiant, monkey-fist willingness to challenge yourself, you are a good candidate for The Lab.


The Summit Executive Centre is accessible. We will be on the 10th floor of a skyscraper that has ramps and elevators. While we generally tend to work standing at walls, you are welcome to sit and draw at a table. If you have any questions about the space, please contact the Summit. If you have any questions about the workshop itself, please contact me.

Cancellations and Substitutions

Cancellations are accepted up until 30 days before the workshop, with a 60% refund. Cancellations within 30 days will be subject to the entire workshop fee.

Substitutions can be made at any time (i.e. someone can take your place if you are unable to attend).

Not able to join Brandy for these Labs?

Express your interest in attending a future Lab by completing the form below.


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