Why the artful approach?
Art is a powerful language that speaks to the older brain, the right brain. Through the use of image, color, metaphor, and materials art speaks deeply to the emotional, unconscious, and moral or value based level in people. For example, I show you a word, “leaf”, this word is a series of letters representing a concept, the word is an abstraction and will only conjure your previous experience with a leaf. If I show you an actual leaf from an Aspen tree, immediately, you understand so much more about the context surrounding the leaf, it’s from a tree, it might have had a bug on it, it needs water and soil to live, it is part of a whole system and is not a singular abstract concept.
Art works much the same way even if intellectually you don’t understand what the art is exactly saying. Leonard Shlain, an amazing author of Art & Physics explains the power of the intuitive artists to help understand new concepts in physics. He also wrote The Alphabet vs. the Goddess and shows the history of the unintended consequences of the alphabet to the right brain sensibilities such as to creativity, the feminine, and nature. Both of these works have reinforced my belief in the power of using art and images in planning processes, such as working with graphic recorders or visual communicators. Additionally, using art to inspire, design, dialogue, and communicate helps prepare minds for new realities and smarter ways of thinking. Using methods that reach the right brain to inspire creative solutions in design thinking or accessing whole systems thinking are psychologically relevant and scientifically supported approaches. Since computers are taking over much of our left brain activities, more value is placed on right brain activities that can’t be artificially mimicked. The results run deeper and if we use the whole brain, the creative and logical, the systematic and the specific. This is how conscious companies work and will need to in the current climate. Thinking differently to get different results requires an artful approach.
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