Representing 4 ½ billion years of evolution: a multimodal design perspective of knowledge representations

The UCL Centre for Multimodal Research invites all to this meeting of the Visual and Multimodal Research Forum and the presentation by Eva Insulander and Eva Svärdemo Åberg

Thursday 5th October 2017   17:00-18:30 PM              

Location: UCL Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald St, London WC1N 3QS

This session explores the design of the exhibition ‘Fossils and Evolution’ at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. It discusses some of the central instances and choices that were made by the exhibition design team further to the reconstruction of the exhibition in 2014. Having followed an ethnography of the design process as participant observers in the museums’ project team, we discuss how their design choices can affect visitors’ opportunities to comprehend evolution. The session builds on a multimodal design perspective developed from social semiotics, which enables us to investigate knowledge representations in the museum context. From a design perspective the semiotic configuration of the social setting delimits the possibilities for designating meaning and learning. We explore how the production team have designed the settings for learning by choosing and displaying different forms of representations. We also demonstrate how the design shapes the conditions for the understanding of the knowledge content of the exhibition and visitors learning. We argue that a multimodal design perspective gives us relevant tools to examine how content and form co-construct meanings in terms of what can be regarded as valid knowledge within the specific context of the exhibition.

About the speakers

Eva Insulander holds a PhD in Didactic Science and is a senior lecturer at the Department of Education at Stockholm University. Her research focuses foremost on designs for learning, with an interest in social semiotics and multimodal analysis of educational communication, primarily in the context of museum and history education. Eva Insulander is a member of the Multimodal analysis of interaction and learning research group and also a member of the editorial board of the on-line journal Designs for learning.

Eva Svärdemo Åberg holds a PhD in Education and is a senior lecturer at the Department of Education at Stockholm University. Her main research focuses on design for learning, communication, writing in higher education, assessment practices and cultures of recognitions and multimodal analysis in educational communication. Eva Svärdemo Åberg is a member of Multimodal analysis of interaction and learning research group and also a member of the editorial board of the on-line journal Designs for learning.

The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a platform for academic discussion on multimodality and open to all postgraduate research students and other researchers at UCL and other academic institutions.

This meeting is free to attend and open to all. Non-UCL attendees should please register in advance by emailing Sophia Diamantopoulou, the Forum Coordinator at s.diamantopoulou.14@ucl.ac.uk

 

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