Conclusion

Globalization is a force that continues to drive world social and economic decisions and the interactions between nations, governments, corporations, and institutes of higher learning. A key component of the globalization engine is the need for collaboration in all professions, from business to science, from engineering to marketing, and from transportation to psychology, to name only a few. This spanning across professions arises from the need to resolve problems that, once able to be solved at the local level, now reach far beyond national boundaries and require an increasingly integrated approach. 

As this professional-integration trend shows no sign of abating, the struggle to overcome barriers to collaboration will continue to exist in our social and economic ventures. Not the least of these obstacles — and perhaps the most prevalent — is the persistent conflict between discipline-specific languages. Each professional cultural dialect is the product of its own environment, employing a rhetoric that can be difficult to decipher by those of a different profession. The term “tolerance,” for example, is not used by the structural engineer to describe the abilities of two entities to “put up with” each other or to “get along” (as it may be used in human psychology), but to express the absolute minimum distance between two components in an assembly. The vernacular of a structural engineer may utilize words that are also present in the human psychology discipline, however the semantic meaning of those words may be quite different. It is this difference of semantics that so often poses a problem to group cohesion by disrupting the exchange of knowledge between parties. When collaborative groups are formed, it is essential that each participant fully understands the goal of the project and not just their respective role in the group.

Embodied in the motions and movements of the act of drawing is the ability to visually transfer semantic properties of ideas and concepts without the explicit use of a particular ethnic or cultural language.

As we have seen, the action of drawing is able to do more than transfer visual pictures. Embodied in the motions and movements of the act of drawing is the ability to visually transfer semantic properties of ideas and concepts without the explicit use of a particular ethnic or cultural language. Some may believe that drawing is the territory of artists and designers alone, or that their limited use of the tool is merely for non-creative purposes. The principles discussed in this book can be applied to all professions, regardless of artistic background.

 

To the “non-artist”: Drawing is an informal activity when compared to other professional solution-generation tools, a characteristic which can encourage members of all disciplines to join in without the fear of embarrassment associated with mis-translating across languages. If those of non-design professions tend to have the same skill level in visually representing information or ideas as a 10-year-old child, then everyone should be on a level field when drawing. And if 10-year-olds draw what they know instead of what they see, is it not more important that all members of a group understand the meaning of what is being drawn, 

rather than how accurately the image resembles its subject matter? Drawing is the visual correlation of exchanging the semantic value of an idea rather than translating the description of that idea from one ethnic or cultural language to another.

To the “artist”: Design has a growing presence in the world’s economies, appearing in a wide array of markets and professions. Often seen as the “value-added” piece of the industry puzzle, how can design share more than novel or clever design ideas? Internally, the design professions are well-versed in the use of several modes of drawing, and we shift between them to engage various perspectives on the issue at hand; this fluency in, and ability to shift between, these drawing modes is representative of the holistic approach that is inherent in good design practice. Can we share our own visual language — one based on the in-the-moment cognitive processes that occur while drawing — as a way of overcoming professional culture-specific language conflicts? Can we encourage a deeper sensitivity to the backgrounds of collaborative-group members by adjusting the mode in which we draw and encourage others to draw?

By considering the visual phenomena, the language-based biasing effects, and the conversational drawing principles discussed in this book, it is feasible to believe that the activity of drawing can be a catalyst for the effective exchange of knowledge between disciplines in collaborative groups.

By considering the visual phenomena, the language-based biasing effects, and the conversational drawing principles discussed in this book, it is feasible to believe that the activity of drawing can be a catalyst for the effective exchange of knowledge between disciplines in collaborative groups.