Ruedi Baur, Ulrike Felsing – Abstract

Researching Visual Application Respectful of Cultural Diversity

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The general intention of this paper is to provide insight into a problematic area, that of visual application respectful of cultural diversity, and to demonstrate the relevance of graphic design research in a societal environment. The paper presents methods and results from two completed research projects in the field of intercultural visual communication. The key findings of Research Project 1 are methods of multilingual typography communicated by type specimens and text samples, annotations on books, visual examples from Chinese designers and texts. The most important results of Research Project 2 are visually communicated by 120 newly drawn infographics. In addition, a new research plan will be discussed, namely the development of visual identities for public institutions that implement cultural and social diversity policies. The proposed design methods in all three projects respond to the complexity of changing social requirements and forms of communication. They have been developed through visual applications of design that focus on the approach called “research through design.” The fundamental research goal is to practice sovereign interaction, also with visual differences, and thus counters the tendency of globalization and commercialization to equalize differences.

Keywords: diversity; globalization; intercultural visual communication; multilingual typography; public institution; visual identity.