Story shapes, grids and gestures: Visual activity at play

The visual assignments for GVIII were fun to consider, and gave us a chance to incorporate activities directed at storytelling. I chose to capitalize on the buzz around the Grids and Gestures activity from Nick Sousanis, because of the encouraging no drawing skills being required component, and the consideration for using narrative to define a 2D space. To get warmed up I asked participants to watch the Kurt Vonnegut video on the shape of stories and consider the associated infographics. I wasn’t intentionally trying to combine two activities into one when I did this, but presenting them this way did exactly that.

Both of these examples require the designer to represent a concept occurring over time (a story, narrative or conversation), within a 2D space. I became fascinated by this idea and following up on Nicks’ suggested warm up thought experiment (paraphrased), “to observe the ceiling tiles in the room you are in and imagine different tiles triggering sounds“, and leapt off on a tangent in many ways unrelated to drawing, that of music.

A visual soundboard: The idea of representing a flow, in a 2D space struck an immediate chord in that these are exactly what synthesizer Graphical User Interfaces (GUI’s) are designed to do for music. In the most simple terms, a synthesizer can take a pre-programmed set of instructions (the grid) and generate a loops, patterns and guide emotional responses dependant on users selections.

Activity: Try interacting with the music grid below by clicking on the individual squares. Turning a square “on” will trigger a sound based on the position of that square in the grid. By turning on and off more squares, increasingly complex soundscapes will quickly emerge.

Audio synth grid: < from network effects >

Blog posts on Grids and Gestures – Here are some notable blog posts on the GnG activity. I’m still processing these so have not been able to pull out quotes, but they will be my reference looking back. I have no conclusion for this post.

From Alan @cogdog

[Almost] A Week Gridding and Gesturing

#gridsgestures with Nick Sousanis and #ds106 Daily Create

From Amy @amyburvall http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/thinking-through-comics-with-nick-sousaniss-grids-gestures/62027
#gridsgestures with Nick Sousanis and #ds106 Daily Create

From Jenny Mackness
http://linkis.com/wordpress.com/zorS0

From ProfHacker Anastasia Salter @AnaSalter
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/thinking-through-comics-with-nick-sousaniss-grids-gestures/62027

Making lines

This series of images is part of research project intended to provide students and instructors some ideas to put into their own visual “toolbox”. We are prototyping and developing more of these resources over at bythepen.ca which as of this posting is still only a fresh WP install with no content. I HAD put some content in there, a few plugins and images etc, but in my haste made a few mistakes and had to restart fresh. Consider it COMING SOON. Nevertheless my partner on this project , and I will be presenting tomorrow at the Educational Technology Users Group workshop and are all about showing our process! Things have unfolded in the past couple of months in a very organic way and since we will not have time to dive deep into the ‘toolbox’ portion of the project (most likely) I thought I would share some of these doodlings here. I could deconstruct and annotate the intention for each of these images, but for now I will will just let you click through the gallery and draw your own conclusions.

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Well I guess there is one more thing. As per the terms outlined in my ds106 membership I MUST PRODUCE AN ANIMATED GIF of all works, creatives, designs and concepts to be published as open resources to the internet. So here is that as well.

bythepen_lines_animation

Draw it out – Back of the napkin bio

Developing your graphic facilitation skills takes practice, but it’s fun and rewarding activity that can aid in communicating your ideas to others, or working together in groupwork of all kinds.

Learning Objective + Pre-Assessment:   1. Create representations of ideas, expressions, feelings, or concepts graphically 2. Find out background of each participant.  (music, drawing, photography, etc.)

<Display visual agenda… where are we headed?>

Activity

“Draw it out” Activity questions

This is a form of “Flipchart resume”, modified from “A Better Icebreaker” post. I have adapted it to suit our activity as the “Back of the Napkin Bio”. As a form of pre-assessment we are going to try and find out a bit more about each participant, and where they are going with their Educational Media, while at the same time practicing our visual communication skills.

Steps

1. Get into pairs

2. Divide page into 4 areas, one for each question 3 min “interview” with your partner, document your findings visually. (Leave room for the NAME)

3. Consider the “tips” Shantala has shared with you. Use these to guide your visualizations.

4. Conduct the interview

Interview questions

What creative outlets are you most familiar with, how do you like to express yourself?

What kinds of media are you most interested in embedding in your teaching?

What is (are) your main teaching challenge(s)?

Free Choice: Choose one final question to ask your interviewee

 

5. Switch and repeat.

6. Gather for critique

Modified from “A Better Icebreaker

Source: http://johnleskodotbiz.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/a-better-icebreaker/

Some tips

Use these tips to help guide your drawings.