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A Structure of Diagrams (Part 1)

SERIES: A Structure of Diagrams
AUTHOR: Jim Schofield


This rather long series of papers are actually the contents of a complete book on Diagrammatic Realisation. Indeed, by the time the whole series has been delivered a couple of years will have elapsed. Nonetheless, as the individual papers each has a clear and separate purpose, they don’t have to be seen as part of the Whole. The range of diagrams delivered in this book is vast and perhaps sometimes quite surprising. Apart from principles of design, such as need-to-know, redundancy and multipurpose forms, there are many diagrams useful in quite unusual areas. The more obviously essential and functional diagrams are those developed for use with electronic circuits, but they range far and wide via hierarchical forms used in complex situations all the way to Music and Dance. These latter forms were developed to aid in both Composition and Choreography as well as in Teaching. A series of highly structured, and carefully organised, diagrams are presented that the author used in the design and construction of a music Synthesizer/Sequencer.
In quite a different area, there are many diagrams connected with research into Tilings (tessellations), to demonstrate how these can be both analysed and created, as well as revealing ideas such as Families of Tessellations.
Perhaps the most surprising are a series of animated diagrams using simple colour cycling which can deliver otherwise impossibly complex forms for analysis and development. A whole section is dedicated to to Music, and particularly to open tunings for the guitar, but also including new notation systems for finger picking styles of playing. Finally a whole range of music aid diagrams are introduced for use in both Composition and Improvisation.

One particular chapter shows how quite difficult 3D problems in the stacking of comples, re-entrant strands to fill space were both tackled and solved. The Geography of Dance works and their dual use to also include access to multimedia resources is also fully
described. Another area connected with Dance shows the design of special Parametered , animated figures to use superimposed upon successive frames of a dance video to capture movement for future analysis and use..
Finally among these special aids, is one for superimposing sequences of position on top of a moving dance video to communicate the real dynamics of movement, via precursor and subsequent positions. Rudolf Laban’s 26 orientations in space around an individual dancer which he used both in his famed Dance Notation and in his many Scales and exercises was captured into a polyhedral aid – called a Laban Pure Form, which was produced in both a series of desktop models and even a remarkable step-inside form, which proved very effective in many alternative uses. Philosophically useful diagrams used in explaining the role of Abstractions in human Thinking are also
included, as are a series of abstract mathematical diagrams which could be used in creating useable models of aspects of Reality. Finally a chapeter considers how diagrams can help with problems of Cosmology – particularly in the modelling of the actual “progress” of the Big Bang. Even maps developed for use in directing marketing have a chapter of their own....

1. Technical Drawing though an essential part of Diagramming does not exhaust the possibilities.

Diagrams can be a superior form of communication to text alone.
2. The Geographical aspect of diagrams from Maps to indexes and even access are also possible

3. The vital quality of Redundancy is described – simultaneous alternative ways of delivery.

4. Multi-purpose & Need-to-know forms are compared.

5. But the evident pitfalls of each can be handled via various techniques such as highlighting and greying-out

6. Precursor hints and blinkered paths are described as such methods

7. Multiple, different function diagrams are usually necessary to cover all the required aspects to be delivered.

8. These range from Design diagrams all the way to led-by-the-nose Recipes.

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