That’s what drawings do. They draw your attention to something you need to see, something that helps you understand. Sounds simple, but it’s not. There are a lot of things that have to happen for anyone to understand anything. That’s true in everyday life whenever you’re trying to figure out what’s going on with anything you see. You have to focus (draw) your attention to certain aspects of things in certain ways. And it’s true in creating things, imagining and developing and communicating things that don’t yet exist. There, and this is true both for authors/creators and for readers/viewers, drawings draw your attention in ways that assist understanding.
But, here’s what I’m getting at: it’s not simple. To understand, it’s not enough to have your attention drawn to certain things through certain lenses or ways of looking at things. That’s needed, but there’s more. There are three things present within an observable dynamic, wherever understanding happens. No one knows how understanding happens. It’s beyond the grasp of human cognition. We just don’t know how the mind works. Fortunately (because we never will), we don’t need to know. It’s sufficient just to notice and describe the basic shape of the observable dynamic of thought and understanding.
Here, as a simplified sketch, is the basic shape of the observable dynamic of thought and understanding; there are three things:
- the narrowing act of taking a closer look, focus, drawing your attention in a certain way through a certain lens
- the wider expansive whole of an environment, within which the act of taking a closer look happens
- some kind of activity that takes place in the mind, which can be described as some kind of interplay between 2 and 1, between the environment and the focused act of taking a closer look.
That’s a sketch of the general shape of the nature of thinking, and it is there, in thinking, where understanding grows (naturally!). Take particular note that thinking and understanding are not happening in either 1 or 2, but rather in some kind of mental interplay between them (3).
I think the best way to illustrate this is through examples. So here I ask. This is invitation, to anyone interested. Do you have drawings you can share? Would you kindly allow me to display them here in a gallery on this page?
I’ll add some of my own, drawings I’ve made and models. My hope is that many people intrigued by this and appreciating their own work and others’ are able to share drawings. I propose a format: please provide not an entire set of drawings, but a small set, the smallest possible set of drawings that kick-starts the interplay dynamic of thought and understanding, in the minds of anyone looking at the drawings, even as those viewing the drawings build the wider environmental model of the whole for themselves, as a mental model, through studying the drawings.
The invitation is open! Please send images of drawings to firstname.lastname@example.org which I will accept with tremendous gratitude for your interest.
Drawing, for its part, is going to evolve, within digital models. Our book, Tangerine Media Innovation Spec 2018, specifies that evolution for software developers (Chapter 3 of the book).