Saturday, March 26, 2016

Exploring and explaining socio-legal research through pictograms

Material (as opposed to digital) pictograms can be extremely useful for helping a researcher to better understand their own project, and to explain it to someone else. 

In the above image each participant has grabbed a handful of cubes that have pictograms on each surface (here drawn from the games Story Cubes and Nada). They roll them, study them, adjust their location. When they are ready, they tell a story about their research and/or their research process using the pictograms. 

This method is especially powerful in a multidisciplinary context because it bypasses technical terminology, provokes transparency and forms a communal space for ideas. For example, in the video below, Allison Lindner, a Kent Law School PhD candidate, explores her socio-research in a way that has meaning to her, and to students from three other disciplines: management, tourism studies and psychology. The context was a 2016 workshop I ran on Visualising Social Science Research for the University of Kent Graduate School. See here for notes on the 2015 workshop.

Exploring/explaining socio-legal research in pictograms from Amanda Perry-Kessaris on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sketchbook as socio-legal research tool

An A3 blank page sketchbook is an excellent tool for organising anything that informs your legal research: typed notes, handwritten notes, images of book covers, sketches, photos of locations or workshops or experiments, ticket stubs, event programmes. Treat it as a living document in which you can capture multiple layers of snapshots of your thinking in time, and which you can use to explain your thinking to others.

Some examples of my own sketchbooks are below. My process is to type up notes, print them out, cut them up and then stick them in a sketchbook interwoven with other material. I often go back and annotate them by hand soon afterwards to note connections. When I later come to write up my research I use stickers (sometimes in coded colours) to indicate important themes or ideas.





For an insight into how design students use sketchbooks see this video
Sketchbook Development No2 from tonypritchard on Vimeo.

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