Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Kate Patterson, Visual Science Communicator, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Lab Research Fellow, 3D Visualisation and Aesthetics Lab UNSW Art and Design, UNSW Australia

I like deadlines. They punctuate my projects.

Deadlines and deliverables force me to package my projects into consumable chunks, into a ‘product’ that is necessary for sharing and showing my work and also for reaching my desired audience.

Most of the time I find myself working towards the end goal of creating something visual for someone else to see. Drafts are discarded and design decisions are made quietly and efficiently until, finally a shiny, ‘presentable’ product emerges.

image DNA Template - an early concept model for #MyBase that I rejected due to it appearing less organic than I would like. The final model utilises atoms represented as spheres. Kate Patterson

It’s with great sadness and regret that some of the most interesting stories that come from the process of creating, rather than from the creation itself are never told. By focusing only on the end goal, it’s easy to fly past some of the most interesting stories that are embedded in the creative process.

I have always been attracted to ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘the making of’ productions. I love documentaries that show the insides of factories. I am quite fond of chocolate coated biscuits, but I’m more interested in how they are made. What systems exist to ensure they stack perfectly, such that the imprint of the next chocolate biscuit is not visible? What happens to those few biscuits that get rejected at the quality control step?

It’s clear that understanding the process seems to enhance the product. The material difference is that, to me, the biscuit actually tastes better.

As a concept, process as product is not new. Process art was an art movement that arose in the mid 1960s with an emphasis on the process and act of artistic creation rather than the actual finished work that comes out of it. The Guggenheim Museum and Tate Modern showcase key process art practitioners.

image Testing the projection map of 2D design onto the 3D DNA base model using Autodesk Maya. Kate Patterson

When process becomes product

How could this approach be applied to visual science communication? What are some ways to capture and share ‘process’ as a way to communicate science in new ways?

Scientific concepts and ideas can be woven into the subject matter while critical thinking and design decisions that occur in pursuit of the end goal are the focus. As with the process art movement, the literature that supports this approach to creation is a critical component of the product.

The wildly popular minute physics, with over 3.5M subscribers on YouTube approached this concept with a behind the scenes video. An ‘explainer’ of how the videos are made, putting a face to the familiar voice and making the ‘maker’ more visible.

Going behind the scenes of a science YouTube video.

Documenting the process of constructing #MyBase

One such project I am working on, that is (naturally) still in progress, is the construction of a genomics-inspired community artwork.

The artwork, #MyBase is a virtual 3D DNA molecule with a unique design projected on to each base. These gorgeous designs were created by the audience at Genome Gazing, an event I co-produced with Bronwyn Terrill at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, supported by Inspiring Australia, Sydney Science Festival as part of National Science Week 2016.

The motivation for the #MyBase community artwork came through an attempt alter the traditional dynamic of a lecture style event by extending the reach beyond the on-site event.

image Kate Patterson Each person in the audience was given a template in which to create a genomics-inspired design. Some of those volunteered their social media details so they can be notified on the progress of the artwork. They can also participate in an ongoing conversation about their designs, and how they relate to genomics and related concepts. As a natural platform for documenting the creation of a community artwork, we established a Facebook page to publicly document the process of the 3D DNA build and eventual fly-through, designed to showcase the contributions from the community. image Some of the gorgeous #MyBase designs contributed by the audience at Genome Gazing Kate Patterson This is just one of a plethora of approaches where process becomes product. It is a philosophical approach to creating, but I wonder, in the context of communicating science, who are the audiences most interested in this approach? Are the audiences different to those more inspired by the product? Do they engage more / learn more, can learning objectives be embedded in a way that makes it more memorable? While ruminating on these questions, you can follow the project here.

Authors: Kate Patterson, Visual Science Communicator, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Lab Research Fellow, 3D Visualisation and Aesthetics Lab UNSW Art and Design, UNSW Australia

Read more http://theconversation.com/when-process-becomes-product-repacking-science-communication-65472

Writers Wanted

Planning a road trip in a pandemic? 11 tips for before you leave, on the road and when you arrive


Biden's cabinet picks are globally respected, but one obstacle remains for the US to 'lead the world' again


The Conversation


Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism

Buy Instagram Followers And Likes Now

Do you like to buy followers on Instagram? Just give a simple Google search on the internet, and there will be an abounding of seeking outcomes full of businesses offering such services. But, th...

News Co - avatar News Co

Cybersecurity data means nothing to business leaders without context

Top business leaders are starting to realise the widespread impact a cyberattack can have on a business. Unfortunately, according to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Tenable, some...

Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable - avatar Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion