[Humanist] 29.55 impediments to visualisation

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon May 25 07:31:02 CEST 2015


                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 55.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Stan Ruecker <sruecker at ualberta.ca>                       (17)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 29.51 impediments to visualisation?

  [2]   From:    Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>                       (37)
        Subject: Re:  29.51 impediments to visualisation?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 23 May 2015 12:25:23 -0500
        From: Stan Ruecker <sruecker at ualberta.ca>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 29.51 impediments to visualisation?
        In-Reply-To: <20150523062656.19DCF3A10 at digitalhumanities.org>


Hi Willard,

The thinking about rhetoric in design has a reasonably good pedigree,
and some of it applies to visualization. The person sometimes credited
with beginning the discussion is Ulm professor Gui Bonsiepe; he was a
student of Tomas Maldonado, and if I recall correctly, they began
worked together on this in the late 1950s. I'm a bit unclear on the
publishing history, but there is a paper here:
www.agrayspace.com/KCAI/Rhetoric-Bonsiepe.pdf

I think there was a longer version also entitled Visual/Verbal
Rhetoric, or maybe it is just a different translation. Anyway, you can
pay scrib.com to download a copy.

This paper by Gesche Joost, who is an excellent professor of design
research at the Berlin University of the Arts, has a good
bibliography: www.geschejoost.org/files/design_as_rhetoric.pdf

I hope that's useful.

Best wishes,
Stan Ruecker



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Sat, 23 May 2015 17:17:11 -0500
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  29.51 impediments to visualisation?
        In-Reply-To: <20150523062656.19DCF3A10 at digitalhumanities.org>


Willard
 
On May 23, 2015, at 1:26 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:
>  
> 
> So many visualisations I have seen seem to stand as rhetorical Q.E.D.s,
> saying to us, "Behold!", but end more in puzzlement than reward us with
> understanding. Looking at some I wonder, e.g., why is this circular and not
> rectangular? Why are the elements in it uniformly distributed, not bunched
> up, or the other way around? What is this visualisation telling me? In one
> recent case a series of visualisations that I simply could not understand
> suddenly became brilliantly clear when the author of them explained her
> intent with a visual analogy. Before that analogy was supplied I was
> clueless, indeed was annoyed. 
> 
> Edward Tufte (originally an economic historian, I think) has written
> beautiful volumes on the subject. Has anyone here tried his or her hand with
> the rhetorics of visualisation or can cite particularly good examples?
> 
> Comments?

I wrote a short blog post back in February on a related concern. This may
echo some of what you say, or raise new concerns:

http://creative-automata.com/2015/02/17/the-illusion-of-usability/

-p


Paul Fishwick, PhD
Chair, ACM SIGSIM
Distinguished University Chair of Arts & Technology 
   and Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Lab Blog: creative-automata.com
SIGSIM Blog: modelingforeveryone.com





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