Writing is a necessary skill in order for designers and artists to convey their message. Whether the medium is a blog, a proposal or description, writing is a key element of design. Projects rarely are able to stand-alone without some form of explanation; therefor as a designer it is important to be aware of how we are conveying our ideas.

Anne West is the author of the book “Mapping The Intelligence Of Artistic Work”. In this she explains key elements for creating markers so that we are able to better navigate through our process. This in turn creates content for explaining our work.

West uses 3 steps for becoming a better writer. The first step is exploring. This includes asking questions, investigating other’s work, dissecting different viewpoints and gaining insight of a topic. The second step is charting. One can do this by verbal organization, labels, logic, connection, patterns and relations. The third step is communication. This is the act of establishing our voice and opinion, expressing vision, and various types of writing.

West also has recommended exercises for developing a process.

  • timed free writes
  • opinion responses
  • refined writing
  • projects
  • case studies
  • diagrams, lists, mapping

Questions that need to be asked when working on projects are defined by two catagories.

Collaboration with space

  • how do we perceive space
  • how does our past inform us
  • how does the work interact with the space

Perceived intent of the work

  • what is being brought to attention
  • what kind of energy does the piece have
  • who is the audience

Throughout the semester I have realized the importance of mapping and interpreting information. Although I have an aptness for research, I find that if I do not go through the process of creating my own response to information that I tend to leave out key elements in my projects. By creating a space where I am able to process data, this aids me in creating a narrative for my ideas.

Anne West’s website can be found here.