Visual Research Assignments

Revised research question based on tutor feedback:

What does empowerment look like? how can the principles of visual dynamics and narrative design improve ‘translations’ of community voices into persuasive wordfree visuals for advocacy?

My visual research for this module builds on my professional work skills and aims to address key gaps in my skill set in relation to graphic design, animation and interactivity to make much more engaging and impactful pictorial materials.  It explores possibilities for new participatory pictorial ways of exploring and communicating complex concepts through bringing together:

  • drawings and diagrams around empowerment, leadership and livelihoods from communities I have worked with to analyse similarities and differences across cultures
  • insights and innovation from visual communications in graphic styles, wordless communication, information graphics and pictorial web design
  • participatory theory from development literature

Assignment 1: Research Question and Plans

presents my initial research proposal: my research question and why I chose it, my visual research options, key resources, time-scale and SWOT/PEST.

Assignment 2: A Theoretical Framework

(forthcoming mid March 2019)

Discusses the design of this blog format I have chosen for submitting my work, how my written and visual work will be integrated, a theoretical framework for my written work, research methodology and a draft literature and resources review.

Assignment 3: Gathering Data

(forthcoming end October 2019)

Presents the results of my visual context review and semiotic analysis of:

  • community drawings on concepts of empowerment, leadership and coffee livelihoods
  • designers and illustrators producing wordless animations and infographics.

Together with some initial drafts of my own visual experiments bringing the two together ready for discussion with professional networks and colleagues.

Assignment 4:  A Working Draft

(forthcoming end December 2019)

Presents a working draft of my proposals for a Participatory Visual Communications Methodology based on the visual context review and feedback on my own initial experimentation. It presents revised versions of three experimental innovative pieces uploaded to this blog focusing on concepts of empowerment, leadership and coffee livelihoods:

  • based on community drawings and using physical media available cheaply in low income rural and urban communities:
    • drawings in pencil, marker pens, biro on flipcharts and cheap white and/or coloured paper
    • collage from drawings, local photos and/or news media and/or literature from development agencies
  • edited, compiled and composited as interactive animated infographics using Adobe Animate

Assignment 5: Finalising My Submission

(forthcoming end March 2020)

Finalises my proposals for a Participatory Visual Communications Methodology and my own experimentation.

Together with practical resources notes for other designers considering:

  • how far similar resources can be produced in communities and organisations using drawing and mobile phone processed with free infographic and animation software.