of the Global Online Visual Thinking Workshop webinar was a seminar on Visual Intelligence: 7 Keys to Big Picture Thinking. You can get a sense of his talk from this screen shot of an early drawing.
The essence of Sibbet’s talk is that diagrams can be used to trigger how you think. He delineated seven keys in this visualizing process:
- Posters – used to focus attention
- Lists – move that attention in a linear fashion
- Clusters – grouping the attention or information to “activate comparison”, though not by “linking, which does the work for you, but juxtaposing, which lets you do the work of making connections”
- Grids – use of a matrix to create a “series of categories crossed against another series of categories” which “forces you to analyze the information by cross-checking”
- Diagrams – information is linked through branching
- Drawings – “merge with what is known” to think “about complexity through metaphor”
- Mandala – present a unified, centralized, integrated view of the ideas
Sibbet provided examples of each of these processes, and I have as yet to formulate his ideas into my own words, let alone diagrams! I did find his approach most interesting and it has made me think a lot about how ideas are presented and digested in school.
A comment Sibbet made caused me to smile – he said a messy desk gives you opportunity for “accidental connections” and “accidental associations that spark thinking”. There are surely many who would appreciate that view!
The webinar was interactive so I was able to ask if he had any books to recommend:
On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins
Art of Awareness by Sam Bois
Reflexive Universe by Arthur M. Young
Graphic Facilitation (comes with a CD) by Dave Sibbet
Envisioning: An Interview with David Sibbet is available to read at Learning in the New Economy e-Magazine (LiNE Zine) and provides a fascinating look at Dave Sibbet’s philosophy, business, and approach to visualizing.
I’ll finish with Dave Sibbet describing his and a colleague’s sketching of the TED 2008 conference as it was happening. This movie tells the story of their process, and on Autodesk’s site you can download The BIGVIZ as a pdf and watch some additional movies.