Abstract

This article examines knowledge graphics from the Chinese and Western cultures, which, in the course of globalization, are being increasingly loosened from their original cultural references. If it is assumed that at most pictographs, but not complex graphics, are universally understandable, “visual translations” must be developed for knowledge graphics if we are to transfer them into another cultural reference system. Using the example of a widespread graphic form-the tree diagram-the research presented here will explain specific representational principles and the cultural concepts on which they are based. Here, on the visible surface, formal correlations can indeed be observed. However, if we ask what conceptual structures the graphics are based on, we encounter two fundamentally different representational systems. The article focuses on the question of which design methods are capable of making the diverse relationships between these representational systems comprehensible.

Keywords:

cultural reference system, knowledge graphics, visual translation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 17th, 12:00 AM

Juxtaposing Chinese and Western Representational Principles: New Design Methods for Information Graphics in the Field of Intercultural Communication

This article examines knowledge graphics from the Chinese and Western cultures, which, in the course of globalization, are being increasingly loosened from their original cultural references. If it is assumed that at most pictographs, but not complex graphics, are universally understandable, “visual translations” must be developed for knowledge graphics if we are to transfer them into another cultural reference system. Using the example of a widespread graphic form-the tree diagram-the research presented here will explain specific representational principles and the cultural concepts on which they are based. Here, on the visible surface, formal correlations can indeed be observed. However, if we ask what conceptual structures the graphics are based on, we encounter two fundamentally different representational systems. The article focuses on the question of which design methods are capable of making the diverse relationships between these representational systems comprehensible.

 

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