The Visualization of Knowledge: Researching for New Methods for Information Design in the Intercultural Field
Felsing, Ulrike; Lüdi Kong, Eva

The aim of this research was to answer the following question: How can design provide access to visual sources of knowledge from other cultures? Diagrams from the Chinese visual encyclopedia Sancai Tuhui (1609) were exemplary of “foreign knowledge.” This paper focuses on the ways of re-drawing these diagrams as “visual translations.” The result of this research is the understanding that visible, visualized knowledge is always tied to cultural notions that are not always immediately visible. For a certain amount of time, these form the “reference system” for the images (see Goodman, 1968), in which social, ethical, historical, and media dimensions are linked. The research project, “The exploration of design methods in the area of crosscultural visual communication. Case study 1B: The coexistence of Chinese and Latin visual cultures,” was initiated by the Swiss National Science Foundation between 2010 and 2015. The research is in the field of communications design, and the field itself ranges from information design (practice) to visual studies (theory). In the practical area, our group based its research on works by Tufte (1983, 1990, 2005, 2006) and Bertin (1974); for the theory, we refer to Krämer (2009) and Goodman (1978). Adjacent disciplines are semiotics and Sinology.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rah.v4n1a5