Friday, 3 August 2012

visual thinking - beats powerpoints 90 years ago.

Here’s a colour study from Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.  He was a student come teacher at the Bahaus and let’s face it, the owner of quite a cool name.

If you forgive the quality ( I was taking the photo using my phone in the gallery where I wasn’t supposed to), you’ll notice colours in circles all sitting in a pencil grid.
It’s a genius piece of visual thinking and gives me an example of how you can solve problems in pictures.  Moholy-Nagy was working out the curriculum for the Bauhaus and what student groups went where, when, with whom and for how long.  Looking at the piece I noticed he had worked out a smart little 'carrousel' curriculum where all the students got their full exposure to the material, the teachers got variety, the workshops may have avoided bottle necking and everyone knew what was going on at any given moment.
I like this because:
  • It didn’t need a computer (spreadsheets and i-pads werent’ around in 1920).
  • It’s done by hand – suggesting the whole thing happened in one sitting; think of the time he had spare to show off his surname in the village. maybe he did it in th park, down the pub or likely at his desk BUT he didn't have to.
  • We’ve got the whole “I get it” bit all on a single page so other people can understand – something too often we miss at work when our colleagues send us ANOTHER powerpoint with ANOTHER page added at the end.

We’ve a saying here at ‘theBox’  A picture paints a thousand words and stimulates a thousand too.  If I were teaching at the Bauhaus, all I’d need from Laslo at term start would be this sheet and the freedom to get on and teach; precisely what my thousand words would be used for. Utter Genius.

Now, go spend the afternoon DRAWING your problem and see what happens as you then try and solve it.

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