Spaces and Gestures


Visual comprehension, sketching and negotiation

The dissertation project GESTENRÄUME by Hannah Groninger examines manual processes of drawing and design between gesture and three-dimensional drawing and thus thematizes the act and practices of the imagination of object constellations in space. How can ideas and objects of imagination be located in gesture space and thus concretized? Is this a knowledge practice not yet recognized by design research? With the help of video and motion capture techniques and immersive 3D sketching tools, the potential of three-dimensional drawing for design processes will be explored exploratively and on the basis of empirical studies with students from the Master's programme in Architecture at the RWTH Aachen University.

The doctoral project positions itself at the interface of visual design (Faculty of Architecture) and gesture research (Linguistics and Cognitive Semiotics, Faculty of Philosophy) and deals with the visual-spatial relations of both disciplines. The gesture space surrounding every human being is treated as a production site for images and as a media-discursive place where the mental, the physical and the real meet. Gesture researchers and their own preliminary work show that when objects of the imagination are communicated and described - synchronously to the spoken discourse - physical-spatial gestures are increasingly used. Proportions and situational relationships are described manually, forms and object constellations are drawn into space or represented with the help of the hands. The gesture space is thus simultaneously a communicative and creative space between several persons and a place of production and reception of images (sketches and gestures) on the threshold of the mental and physical-material world.

Supervision: Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas H. Schmitz and Univ.-Prof. Irene Mittelberg, PhD

Contact: Hannah Groninger