Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Visual Thinking Strategies Workshop: Part 2

Mary Lewis from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts led a workshop with staff on Visual Thinking Strategies.
She began part 2 of the session having us view a clip from 60 Minutes with Harvard professor, John Stilgoe.
Stilgoe pointed out many interesting design components.
For example, have you ever noticed the arrow in the FedEx logo?
Or that if all car manufacturers just put the gas cap on the same side, lines at gas pumps would be much shorter because everyone would line up in a more efficient manner.
Lewis then told us about "The Stages of Looking."
Stage 1: Beginning viewers are looking at the story
Emotion plays a big part of it, and they use their own life experience to relate to the image. "What is it about the picture that made you think of that?"
Stage 2: Constructivist
People apply what they think is "right," and build a framework. "IS THIS ART?"
Stage 3: Classifying
By classifying the artwork, this stage attempts to critically categorize the works meaning and make sense.
Stage 4: Interpretive
Seek a personal encounter with the work.
Stage 5: Specialists
There are probably only a handful of people in the world that are at this stage. They look at the universal truths of the artwork.

Look around! We gain so much information from observation, and start at a very young age. Then we start getting distracted.
Lewis mentioned that she does training in listening and looking for Medical students to help them be better observers to make better diagnoses. So often, they jump to a quick conclusion, and miss important details that patients tell them. Pause and look prior to making decisions. This is called "Mindfulness!"

Finally, she discussed picture selection for VTS
Engagement-help them identify with what is going on. Captivating and expressive, you can use older work and stretch across time
Diverse-Cartoons have one point of view, so avoid those. Use many different cultures to expand students experience
Lewis notes that sometimes it helps to morph it to fit your subject, though some may argue against that.

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