(pills on the #VisualLanguage to activate our communication and pedagogy)

This post was published at https://blogs.deusto.es/learn-teaching/a-proposal-with-a-lot-of-art/

A PROPOSAL WITH A LOT OF ARTIt is an adapted, updated and supplemented excerpt from the book “Visual Thought, Murals to innovate” (Fernando Vidal and Miryam Artola), Ed. Mensajero 2015.

#VisualThinking(1) is making its way into our environment, our organizations and teams. And fortunately it is making its way -almost in an essential way- in our classrooms, as a means and tool of pedagogical communication (2). In Spanish, it is known generically as #PensamientoVisual.

Personally, due to the experience and the work that I am developing in this field, I am committed to a concept that I believe encompasses the entire emotional and cognitive system that Visual Thinking encompasses: that of #VisualLanguage.

Below I show you, as a summary, a quick tour through which I encourage you to “navigate” to activate your Visual Language (with effectiveness and affectivity and a lot of AR-te):


A PROPOSAL WITH A LOT OF ART Visual Thinking has two main entry routes; look and listen. The look is not a mere act of opening the eyes, but it is always an attitude. “I want to claim the right to look (…) It starts at the personal level of looking inside oneself in order to express friendship, solidarity or love. That look must be mutual, each person looking with the other, or they will fail (Mirzoeff, 2012).

The Visual Language proposes us to create images that allow us to know (and sometimes to know) more. But for that we must learn to look better. Although 75% of the information we receive is visual, we must be aware that seeing is not always enough to look, and not seeing does not mean not looking. It is not easy to go from seeing to looking: it requires discipline, commitment and attention.


A PROPOSAL WITH A LOT OF ARTListen (to us). Listen to the other. Listen to precise (and precious) time and space. Listen to reality. Listen here and now. Listen with your whole body.

Exercising listening time is an essential part of Visual Language. Otto Scharmer (3) wisely proposes a way to pay attention to our listening (and hence be able to exercise it):

(i) a listening in which “I already know everything” (download), where I reconfirm what I already know, ( ii) “Oh, look at that!”, the listening in which I focus on what is different from what I already know (factual), (iii) “Yes, I know exactly how you feel”, the listening (empathetic) that makes us “ move from observing the objective world of things, numbers and facts (the “world-it”) to listening to the story of a living and evolving being (the “world-you)” and ( iv) It is the listening in which “I cannot express what I feel in words”… It is that delicate and profound place in which we connect with the profound origin of our knowledge and our being, present (and as future possibility). In this “time and place of listening”, the visual acquires an exponential potential. It is the space of generative listening.


A PROPOSAL WITH A LOT OF ARTThe proposal that we launch with the Visual Language is: think with images (thinking in pictures, Drake 2005). Because images make us think and because we think with our whole body.

Order AR(te) and synthesize AR:

The brain is a pattern detector: it does not capture individual pieces, but rather systems that are then articulated in a complex language between patterns. The visual has the ability to integrate a host of elements in shapes and patterns that facilitate (re) recognition and memorization.


Visual Language automatically connects the two cerebral hemispheres: the left, more “rational”, with the right, the “creative”, the abstract with the emotional, the analytical with the intuitive. This allows us to generate a meeting point, a connection between personal and universal constructions.

Furthermore, the construction of a process, of an idea, of a conversation, through Visual Language, helps us move from the I to the us. Connect people. Connect ideas. Connect times. It connects us.

Display(te) & draw

A PROPOSAL WITH A LOT OF ART The visual is integrated into a multisensory perceptual system in which we not only “think with our eyes” but also with our hands< /strong>.

With a few simple strokes, visualizing can help us find forms of expression for what cannot (or does not want) to be verbalized. In this sense, the Visual Language makes emerge not only non-verbal of the other, but even deep feelings of ourselves that we have not wanted or been able to express.


The Visual Language is therefore a proposal and an invitation to:

  • Train an open gaze that contemplates the depth of reality that opens before our eyes (and within ourselves).
  • Going deeper into an active, present listening that invites us to listen inside, to get out of our own ideas and convictions, and that opens us to a space from where we can recreate (us).
  • Thinking with images, creating order, synthesis, connection and a narrative flow that make sense of our conversation.
  • Reconnect with a way of telling (us), activating our minds and our hearts to encourage conversations, enrich our pedagogy, generate alignment and commitment and break down solutions and visualize possible scenarios together.< /li>


  • Rudolf Arnheim is the father of #VisualThinking. “Visual Thinking”, Rudolf Arnheim, Faber and Faber, London, 1969
  • For those of you who are interested in deploying #VisualThinking in your primary, secondary and high school subjects, I encourage you to consult Garbiñe Larralde’s page http://enredarteayudaaprender.blogspot.com.es/
  • “Leading from the emerging future”, Otto Scharmer, Berret_Koehler Publishers Inc, 2013

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