A schema for depiction

Boyd Davis, Stephen (2007) A schema for depiction. Visible Language, 41 (3) . pp. 280-300. ISSN 0022-2224 [Article]

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The article for a special issue on Visual Metaphors in User Support proposes a five-part schema for analysing the design process in constructing pictorial representations, highlighting the multiple ways in which the objectives of a design influence the final form: pictorial pragmatism, driven by the objectives, is argued to be the dominant force. It rejects models of depiction as ‘thoughtless imitation' compared with diagramming, and argues that the way in which representations fall short of matching what they represent is a vital part of their expressivity. Its originality is in seeking to identify the nature of those mismatches, in a form useful to both designers and theorists.

Using visual evidence and a range of literatures including information science, research methods were to:
1. Analyse the transformations from perceived scenes to pictures, breaking them down into conceptually distinct phases.
2. Progressively refine the resulting schema, aiming for sufficient simplicity to be useful without misrepresenting the subtleties of the depictive process.
3. Establish a proper place for the affective aspects of depiction, in addition to the informational.
4. Integrate in the schema the metaphorical aspects of depiction called for by the theme of the special issue.

The aims of the article are: to question simplistic models of depiction; to provide a simple but robust framework for thinking about depiction and related forms of designing; and to act as a guide in the advanced education of designers, in particular making them aware of the extent of the choices open to them.

Related work:
1) refereed workshop paper ‘Representing space: the pictorial imperative' 2004 Workshop on Space and Spatiality at Napier University, Edinburgh, 13-14 December, 2004, ISBN 0-902703-82-X, 65-70.
2) paper for AHRC ICT Methods workshop From Abstract Data Mapping to 3D Photorealism, Birmingham 19 June 2007. http://www.viznet.ac.uk/cross_domain/boydDavis.pdf

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Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design
Item ID: 218
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2008 13:47
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2021 18:15
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/218

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