Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Design Issues article published

My article for the journal Design Issues is now out.
The article discusses issues in the mapping of historical time to a graphical surface, focusing on the orientation of the time axis.

It contrasts the lack of intellectual debate on mapping time with the rich controversies over competing geographic projections. It is a step in the process of generating debate in relation to chronographics, and proposes a research agenda.

The article combines a synthesis of the literatures of cognitive science and gesture studies with original archival research.

  1. The first reveals that the metaphorical direction of time differs between verbal and gestural usage, and to a lesser extent between cultures. There is no "right" direction for time in graphics. 
  2. The second reports on my original investigations into the emergence of modern chronographics in the mid-eighteenth century when there was a shift from typographic, tabular layouts to truly graphical time-maps based on a changing model of time spawned by Descartes and Newton. Here, research into the timelines of Oresme (1350s) and Barbeu-Dubourg and Priestley (1750s) highlights for the first time their difficulties in finding the "right" direction for time.

The article is: Boyd Davis, Stephen (2012) History on the Line: time as dimension. Design Issues, 28 (4). pp. 4-17. ISSN 0747-9360.

At the moment it is downloadable free. The direct link to the PDF (7.4MB) is here:

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