As humans it is in our nature to understand and learn about the world through materiality and specificity. The sense of sight is the most efficient function of human cognition, which enables us to recognise patterns and relationships. Pattern recognition has always been integral in science and the process of discovery especially in the fields of mathematics, physics, geography and astrophysics and less in the social sciences. Images are able to capture the unique and the complex in a way that written texts or formulas cannot. Images provide the basis for making abstract ideas and thoughts concrete, practical and tangible, which in turn may lead to further abstraction.
However, while we need images, images can also deceive. The rivalry between images and data, the concrete and the abstract, the visual and the analytic has always been at the centre of debates on the use of images in science.
Visual Rhetoric does not aim to glorify images nor to undermine them. The aim is to explore and encourage a dialogue on the synergistic possibilities the collaboration and clash between design and social sciences can generate to produce unexpected outcomes and provide inspired solutions.
Both designers and social researchers deal with questions about innovation, sustainability and well-being so why not bring them together?This is a non prescriptive experiment, which has the potential to affect process. Both Research and Design. Producing unexpected outcomes.
The dialogue between designers and researchers is key in this process. It is not a designer/client relationship. But an enquiry into how the thinking designer can affect the research process or how the design research can be steered by the latest qualitative and quantitative findings around current issues of the things that matter.
We aim to encourage a wider discussion around inter-disciplinary, methodological, societal, cultural issues embedded in the process of doing research with, through and about visual materials.
We hope you join us in this dialogue and experiment!
Find out how the project works