The Role of Ideograms in Polyscopic Modeling

by Dino Karabeg

This abstract has been published in the book of abstract of the 1999 IVSA Conference, July 14-18 in Antwerpen.


Polyscopic modeling is a non-traditional or post-traditional approach to information. While the traditional sciences, arts and journalism pursue their traditional themes by their traditional techniques, polyscopic modeling designs information. Objectives and techniques from science, art, journalism and other traditions are freely combined. The traditional informing styles are treated as co-ordinate axes of a space in which a piece of information is a point.

Ideograms are pictures (the word is understood broadly) which represent ideas. They are one of the main techniques in applied polyscopic modeling. An ideogram is a point where the lines of approach of science, art and media informing intersect.

As a scientific technique an ideogram can express an idea, a claim or a result succintly. An ideogram is similar to a mathematical formula: It can define an abstract relationships in a way which allows us to grasp it at a glance. But unlike mathematical formulas ideograms can express a variety of relationships, not only the quantitative ones. Ideograms allow us to broaden science. They allow us to bring science into all walks of life.

As an artistic technique an ideogram can express a mood, a feeling, a condition or a state. As an object of art, an ideogram is something we can feel, something we can relate to emotionally. As any object of art an ideogram gives us more meaning and more insight when we contemplate it.

Like journalism polyscopic modeling aims to create information which is relevant, which tells us what goes on in the world that surrounds us. But unlike journalism polyscopic modeling is not limited to describing events. It synthesizes details into large pictures (high-level views). In that way polyscopic modeling allows us to understand the meaning of events within a larger context. Such understanding helps us orient our actions. Since we, modern people, tend to base our choices on understanding, we need high-level polyscopic information. Ideograms are a natural technique for representing such information.

This page is part of Information Design at Ifi.UiO.No
Created June 1999. Last updated Tuesday, 11-Dec-2001 09:25:01 CET.