Visual Thinking Visual Thinking

This topic was inspired by the book Experiences in Visual Thinking by Robert McKim published by PWS Publishing (1972/1980).

The book explores the relationship between idea-sketching and imagination and is full of strategies, drawings, diagrams and photographs. The way to use the book is to use it actively and repeatedly to solve problems that interest you. At the end of the book is a strategy index presented visually (of course!) as well as in recipe card format. An example:

ABSTRACT
Defocus/withdraw from details/generalise
Look at the big picture/seek overall pattern
Induce principles from particulars
Think with broad brush
Group/classify/symbolise
Diagram/chart/schematide
Analyse/repattern
Expand viewpoint/think divergently
View problem as part of a system/see problem's context

Refer to:
10-2/grouping
10-4/focus
10-5/da Vinci's device
2-4/categorising
2-14/visual induction I

Imagine
14-4/phosphene projections
18-4/abstract word-images
18-5/synectics excursion

Draw
10-1/fingerpaint patterns
21-2/pattern language

Table of contents

Background
	Thinking by Visual Images
	Images in Action
	Ambidextrous Thinking
	Learning to Think Visually

Preparation
	Tools
	Materials
	External Environmental Conditions
	Internal Relaxed Attention
Seeing
	Externalised Thinking
	Recentering
	Seeing by drawing
	Pattern-seeking
	Analytical Seeing
	Proportion
	Cues to form and space
Imagining
	The mind's eye
	Visual Recall
	Autonomous Imagery
	Directed Fantasy
	Structures and Abstractions
	Foresight and Insight
Idea-sketching
	Express/Test/Cycle
	Out of the Language Rut
	The strategy approach
	

Further reading:

Visual Thinking - Rudolf Arnheim

Drawing

Cartooning


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Last updated: 8th May 2000