If we are clear thinkers, and if we are intellectually honest, we can describe our ideas to anyone.
Here are some of the requirements for accomplishing that task:
- Think through a complex idea so that instead of becoming more complex, you can make it more legible.
- Get beyond the internal editing process that inhibits drawing, and imagine creating a picture of something as a tool for communication.
To distill a complex idea into a legible diagram, without the need for Power Point, projectors or a common spoken language, employ a few basic shapes and image types. Start with a circle. Give it a name. There you have a portrait--type 1. Give that circle a space on a page--add anther circle somewhere, and you have type 2 which functions as a map, with relational distance. Relative scale and size of those component circles can describe power dynamics, hierarchies, drama (See images below).
These circles and their social-spatial relationships can describe progressively more complex ideas. A few other pre-cognitive abilities we can rely on: If North is relative, a state of mind, a map makers convention to orient us, then it's opposite and its relational counterparts are also part of our tools to communicate. Using these basic relationships, you can explain scale and a variety of types of interactions the exist between the following:
- Human & concepts
Takeaway for planners: consider using drawings before writing plans or policy memos or articles to first elucidate the situation at hand and to then deal with it systematically.