The Visual Communication of Complexity - May2018 - EcoLabs-1.pdf (1.15 MB)

The visual representation of complexity: Definitions, examples & learning points

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poster
posted on 05.02.2019 by Joanna Boehnert, Alex Penn, Pete Barbrook-Johnson, Martha Bicket, Dione Hills
Sustainability practitioners have long relied on images to display relationships in complex adaptive systems on various scales and across different domains. These images facilitate communication, learning, collaboration and evaluation as they contribute to shared understanding of systemic processes. This research addresses the need for images that are widely understood across different fields and sectors for researchers, policy makers, design practitioners and evaluators with varying degrees of familiarity with the complexity sciences. The research identifies, defines and illustrates 16 key features of complex systems and contributes to an evolving visual language of complexity. Ultimately the work supports learning as a basis for informed decision-making at CECAN (Centre for the Evalutation of Complexity Across the Nexus) and other communities engaged with the an alysis of complex problems. A research process was designed to identify sixteen key characteristics of complexity and to inform the development of new images and descriptions. In order to gather ideas from academics, sustainability practitioners and designers with expertise in the complexity sciences, systems mapping and design, I collected 50 surveys at The Environment, Economy, Democracy: Flourishing Together RSD6 (Relating Systems Thinking and Design) conference in Oslo (October 2017) and ran two participatory workshop in London (November and December 2017). The images, definitions, examples and learning points were developed with this research process.

Funding

CECAN: The Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus

History

School

  • The Arts, English and Drama

Department

  • Arts

Citation

BOEHNERT, J. ... et al, 2018. The visual representation of complexity: Definitions, examples & learning points. Presented at the CECAN Annual Conference 2018 - Policy Evaluation for a Complex World, London, UK, 11 July 2018.

Publisher

CECAN: Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/

Publication date

2018

Notes

This is an Open Access poster. It is published by CECAN: Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus under the creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/.

Language

en

Exports

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