Friday, July 15, 2016

Model making for sociolegal research Part 1

In 2016 Kent Law School purchased a Lego set. Curious?

It is commonly reported that we remember just 10 percent of what we hear and 20 percent of what we read, but 80 percent of what we see and do; and that over 80 percent of the information we absorb is visual. 

We intend to use Lego to press ourselves to use that 80 percent. 

Let’s say I am facing a problem in my current research/administration/teaching project, and I want to get the advice of my colleagues. I can build a model for my colleagues of where my project is now, explaining what each piece represents and how it relates to the other pieces. The building process, including the selection of the pieces and where to put them, will force me to think very precisely about my project, but in terms that are still accessible to others. I learn new things about how my project fits together, and I offer a shared point of reference or vocabulary to my colleagues. After some discussion I might be in a position build another model that is closer to where I want my project to be. I may or may not actually get there. But we will all have used more of that 80 percent.

We initiated our Lego set in early July with a drop in session based around this worksheet, which proved to productive, albeit imperfect. 

Comments from participants suggested that the process was 'very useful because it made me think about planning my work in a completely different way, ie 3d and thus it was easier to see the blockages'; and 'creative and fun and oddly comforting' causing me to 'stand back and look at my work more objectively (from outside?). Perhaps that's why I found it calming.'

The contribution of KLS researcher Joanne Permian resulted in this, the first of a series of short films I am making to  demonstrate how 3D model making can facilitate thinking though, and sharing, complex projects and ideas:

Sociolegal model making 1 Decisions from Amanda Perry-Kessaris on Vimeo.

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