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Translating Domain Expertise through Visual Sensemaking.

Shewchuk, George (2014) Translating Domain Expertise through Visual Sensemaking. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Shewchuk, George

Visual (graphic) designers lead their work with the creation of artifacts for presentation and dissemination of concepts, information and marketing propositions. Their process is governed by a dialectic between sensemaking and strangemaking methods that facilitates their understanding of a problem space. Visual thinking-models developed first as sketches, facilitate the creation of final, carefully rendered artifacts. The aim of this paper is to expose and mine these processes and techniques for their deeper sensemaking utility. For my case study I chose to focus on the outcomes from research that was conducted by the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and their partners. Their research was designed to engage various stakeholders in the creation of visualizations that capture the essential features of the “dementia journey”. The resulting visual metaphors were then critically examined and restructured by employing my visual design expertise, visual design principles and with reflection on participant response in semi-structured interviews. The new visual interpretation was developed through both a sensemaking and strangemaking lens that inform final illustrations. The subjective techniques a visual designer uses to create artifacts can be loosely correlated to objective visual design principles, thereby combining the visual novelty and impact of strangemaking, as in making the familiar highly differentiated, with the convergence on shared meaning of sensemaking. Nigel Cross (1982) formally describes this as “designerly ways of knowing”. I conclude that the visual thinking process, as a subset of a strangemaking mind-set, has valuable and under-utilized sensemaking features that aid in the comprehension of a problem space and clear the way for creative discovery.

Date: September 2014
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2014 22:43
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 09:00
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/135

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