Tag: SenseMaker Dialogs

30
Mar

The Karl Weick Question

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GK VanPatter’s new LinkedIn blog post addresses this often asked question: How does 21st century SenseMaking practice differ from Karl Weick’s SenseMaking?

“Many of our clients and readers know Weick’s work well. Often the question behind the question is: How does that literature, that theory, those constructions fit with what we do at Humantific?

Widely recognized as an important American organizational psychologist and theorist, Karl E. Weick is among the pioneers of the contemporary SenseMaking movement. The author of several important books including SenseMaking in Organizations, his work connects across numerous knowledge communities of practice.

While acknowledging and appreciating Karl Weick, we think it is important to recognize that his work represents only one of several avenues that lead into what is now 21st century SenseMaking. Weick’s avenue is one that happens to have a particular texture, tone, and focus. Other avenues with different textures and tones also exist.

To place Weick in perspective we appreciate this cross-community picture:”

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See entire post on LinkedIn here:

11
Nov

ReAppreciating Fritz Kahn

fritzKahnCoverCongratulations to our friends and colleagues Thilo von Debschitz and Uta von Debschitz for the successful redesign and republishing of the new expanded 390 page volume on Fritz Kahn. Bigger and better than the previous 2011 version this large format 2013 monograph will become an inspiring historical volume for many interested in the early days of what might be called metaphorical or analogous information design.

Inside are wonderful early versions of several forms of information design (now often being redepicted as “info-graphics”) including data visualizations and idea or concept visualizations. You don’t have to agree with every idea to appreciate the richness of this amazing work.Continue Reading..

02
Mar

Future Not Working? Call SenseMakers!

We were delighted to see Cathrine Armitage’s article: “Call in the SenseMaker, The Future Isn’t Working” in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Web designer? So last century.”

“In the future your children and their children will be doing jobs we can scarcely imagine now. Their titles will be as wacky to us as ”software developer” must once have been to a baby boomer. Try making sense of a ”virtchandise manager”, an ”outcome aggregator”, a ”data evangelist” or even a ”sensemaking analyst”…”

A quick scan of the online recruitment sites confirms the future is already here.”

Of course SenseMaking has already evolved into much more than “data analysis.” Today SenseMakers are already being called upon to make sense of many complex situations in organizations and in societies. Often those complexities are abstract and not data based. In fact data based sensemaking is a small subset of what leading Visual SenseMakers do.

SenseMaking has indeed become the 21st century FUEL for ChangeMaking!

The Rise of SenseMaking continues!

03
Oct

ReAppreciating Otto Neurath

At Humantific, we have tremendous respect for the work of the early Social SenseMaking pioneers—among them, the central figures of Isotype Institute: Otto Neurath (1882-1945), Gerd Arntz (1900-1988) and Marie Neurath (1898-1986).

In the Humantific Collection, we have numerous Isotype (International Picture Language System) artifacts. We will share some of the lesser-known example diagrams here, in this inspiration archive.

Based initially in Vienna, what the relatively small Isotype group was able to accomplish in the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s remains a towering achievement in the practice of what we know today as Social SenseMaking.

At Humantific, we are interested in the Before, During, and After-Isotype eras, acknowledging that what we do today has many similarities, and as many differences.

Neurath, in particular, was deeply interested in contributing to the creation of a better, more unified world (“Words Divide, Pictures Unite”) and had specific notions regarding how that might best be accomplished.

Perhaps due to the orientations of its founders, Isotype Institute work tended to be strong on making sense of complex, data-driven content, while the participatory change-making process (cocreation process) component that we know today to be so important was essentially missing. Today we are more aware that making sense of the data is not in itself going to change the world. Hands-on participatory cocreation leadership is needed in orchestration with visualization.

Regardless of its imperfections, Isotype remains an important historical inspiration for many practicing SenseMakers, including the UnderstandingLab team at Humantific.

Stay tuned for more inspiring, early SenseMaking examples from the Humantific Collection.

Image Source: Central Bureau Voor de Statistiek 1944-1946: Statistisch Zakboek by Uitgeversmaatschappij W. De Haan N.V. Utrecht. 1947. Diagrams designed by the Isotype Institute. Humantific Collection, New York.

Related:

More on Isotype Institute 

More on Otto Neurath

More on Gerd Antz

More on Maria Neurath

GK VanPatter: What is SenseMaking?

GK VanPatter: SenseMaking / The Karl Weick Question

CoCreation Missing No More: See: Markets for Giving Workshop

The OTHER Design Thinking

 

22
Sep

SenseMaker Dialogs 3: YES WE KAHN!

The larger than expected turnout for Thilo von Debschitz’s presentation on Fritz Kahn at SenseMaker Dialogs last night had us scrambling to find more chairs! Thilo gave an amazing presentation describing how a series of coincidences and accidental discoveries sent him on a journey around the world in search of Fritz Kahn’s nearly lost legacy. Thilo’s presentation was enlightening, humorous and heartfelt.

Fritz Kahn (1888-1968) was a doctor and popular science writer who illustrated the form and function of the human body with spectacular, modern industrial analogies. As Thilo said, Fritz Kahn was not interested in picturing reality; instead, he sought to show the principles that guided it, the story behind the operations. Fritz Kahn’s influence has rippled through history to the present in animation, art, film and design. Thilo’s book, Fritz Kahn: Man Machine, is the first book about Fritz Kahn published worldwide.

Fritz Kahn’s flourishing career as a doctor, popular science writer, and artist came to an abrupt halt when the Nazis rose to power. Because of the oppressive censorship during the Third Reich, most of the works created by Fritz Kahn, a Jewish intellectual, were banned, publicly burned, and destroyed. He later had studios in New York and Copenhagen. Thilo and his sister scoured the globe in search of what little remains of Kahn’s original drawings and publications, some of which we are honored to house in the Humantific Collection.

Professor Jonathon Rosen from School of Visual Arts brought his entire class of Anatomy students and was awarded a Fritz Kahn poster! Others attending were lucky enough to win the book and posters in the SenseMaker Dialogs Trivia game!

Special thanks to Fritz Kahn’s grandson Dror Kahn and granddaughter Saskia Kahn for coming to last night’s event.

We hope everyone enjoys the YES WE KAHN buttons courtesy of Thilo!

To see more photos from the event, visit SenseMaker Dialogs on Facebook and Flickr.
Follow SenseMaker Dialogs on Twitter for news about upcoming events.