Visualising Ideas

“Words and numbers are fine, but only drawing can simultaneously reveal both the functional characteristics of an idea and its emotional content. . .

All children draw. Somewhere in the course of becoming logical, verbally oriented adults they unlearn this elemental skill.”

Tim Brown, Change by Design

How did this get started?

In early February 2019, I attended a workshop for facilitators using tools called Liberating Structures. The tools themselves have revolutionised my practice. Throughout the workshop co-developer/ lead facilitator, Keith McCandless, would set us up for a dialogue or an activity and then while we were engaged, he would work on the ongoing visualisation of the three day workshop. This left us to our own dialogue and ideas, without the ‘hovering facilitator’ nearby. On the last day, there was an option to learn about and have-a-go graphic visualising, so I leapt in. (Read more in a recent blog post)

Learning my new craft.

This has changed my facilitation work. As I use the combination of the Liberating Structures facilitation tools and graphic visualisation, and my workshops now provide greater opportunity for participant engagement, through dialogue, drawing and thinking routines.


Mapping the journey of the workshop as part of the facilitation process.

Creating a one page summary for a talk
(instead of providing a copy of the slides)

Presentation at AISNSW Tomorrow’s Environment for Learning Conference, April 2019

Visualising a book chapter and research article.

Socol, I., Moran, P. & Ratliff C. (2018) Timeless Learning: How imagination, observation and zero-based thinking change schools (Chapter 9 Where Design Begins)
Fernandes, M., Wammes, J. & Meade, M. (2018) “The Surprisingly Powerful Influence of Drawing on Memory” Association for Psychological Science, Vol 27(5), p. 302 – 308

Creating visuals from current media topics of interest

From sitting in a cafe to creating a visual.

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