Rich Pictures – Understanding Collaborative Communication through Eductive Interpretation

Berg, T. (2015, October). Rich Pictures – Understanding Collaborative Communication through Eductive Interpretation. Paper presented at AIAS Conference: MORE THAN PRETTY PICTURES - The Aesthetics of Data Representation, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies.



Our world is growing smaller and the need for communication grows acute. Pictures and symbols cross all barriers. Symbols have evolved over time to offer universal directions, information and meaning. Symbols are not a replacement language but instead they supplement existing language conveying meaning more readily and concisely.
In this paper we discuss the Rich Picture (RP), showing how powerful the tool is when exploring differing world views of a complex situation. The RP is usually a physical picture drawn by a variety of hands which encourages discussion and debate for groups and allows them to arrive at an agreed understanding. This makes it a powerful device in participatory processes. RPs consist of a set of entities we call icons. Icons can represent objects or processes such as action of emotion. The RP is not rule bound in facilitation, form or content and creators are encouraged to add their own subjective interpretation to the picture. The RP expresses, via a symbolic language, and aids group understanding by initiating problem investigation in a permissive environment. RPs have the capability to recreate in the present what has happened in the past, represent now whilst offering insight into the future. RPs have, to date, been seen as an enquiry tool in system design and their real usefulness expires after completion. Issues are with RP interpretation. We offer a new way of understanding the RP; Eductive Interpretation (EI). We suggest; through the use of EI, people gain greater meaning from the RP. We argue the knowledge value of examining the RP through the lens of EI.

This paper provides an overview of a major forthcoming publication by the authors.
Bell, S. Berg, T. and Morse, S. Rich Pictures: encouraging resilient communities. Taylor Francis, London. 2015.
[Read More]


Tessa Berg
+44 131 455

Areas of Expertise

Associated Projects