The picture above is from Yayoi Kusama’s work – if you know the name of this piece, let me know! I really like her work, but don’t know much about her or her works yet, but this is definitely one of my main projects after finishing my PhD.
Anyhow, how does the picture above relate to my PhD on visual and visualizing knowledge? Roughly speaking one can argue that visual communication is either emotion-driven or based on data. The first one flirts with arts, while the latter is often driven by the goal “making complex simple”. Emotion-based visual communication – or visual arts – has often been regarded as the domain where only artists can freely roam without being judged or frowned upon. For example, try suggesting a more visual method for brainstorming about your company’s strategy in the board meeting and you’re almost certainly pushed to the pariah class. Furthermore, especially grown ups often claim that they can’t draw or they feel that drawing is a waste of time. Both assumptions are awfully wrong!
One does not have to be Yayoi Kusama to be able to convey meaning and emotions through visual communication. In fact, try describing the artwork above through text – which one is more powerful?
So, to get back to the question in this post’s headline, how does this relate to my PhD? In my PhD I’m arguing that visual communication is as essential as written and oral communication in organizational settings (not forgetting all other means of communication!), and we all possess the skills to produce meaning visually. And hopefully my PhD will give some further inspiration for that.
Have a nice and relaxing Good Friday! 🙂