How to show something that doesn’t exist yet?

How to show something that doesn’t exist yet?

Things from the past, but especially fictional things that are in the future, people love talking about those. Everyone then lets their imagination run wild. And everyone sees something different in their minds eye. So if you have a project or idea that is about past or future, it is helpful make a drawing of it. This will benefit the discussion.

How to go about when showing something that doesn’t exist?

You have to come up with an imaginary image. Not quite imaginary, of course. If you draw a Holocene river, you have contemporary examples from Iceland. If you need to show a non-existent building, cut and paste all kinds of examples together. Or you might ask Midjourney or another AI to come up with something.

Colliding images

So, the image generating part is not a problem. It sets off a discussion.
“Oh, in my head Harry Potter was always much smaller,” says a child who has been reading the books (eminently an activity that conjures up images in your head). An image can thus disrupt the free flow of the imagination. What your team member or client has in his mind may well clash with the image you present to him or her.

“Generic cars”

If you want to talk to a new customer about a logistics solution, you don’t want to show a picture of someone else’s factory. If you want to talk about cars, you need “generic cars,” not a Porsche 911. Because if the new customer responds with “I don’t have a car like that,” or “our area is different,” and then the conversation takes a wrong turn.

You want a drawing with only those features that cause the right discussion.

Small disclaimer: “precise people” may have a hard time with a fictional drawing. Engineers cannot think of a “generic car” or an “average factory”. Geologists always find a schematic drawing “too approximate”.
Big disclaimer: If you depict things schematically and leave out all kinds of phenomena from reality, you are manipulating. That’s a given, with any fictional drawing. But are you being ethical? Is it greenwashing? Do you picture something unachievable?

Still, the reader is prompted into thinking about your subject with this image. About how it things could be, how it could work.
Good visuals invite participation. And that is a great thing.

Let’s start making things up!

fictitious drawing

There is a relationship between energy yield from incident light and the orientation of houses. (Perhaps this is my best infographic, my simplest concoction)

fictitious drawing

Excavation in The Hague. The technical drawings that are already there, but you can’t explain anything to the average citizen using those. With these little drawings, you can. Leave out almost everything, and then break it down into sensible steps.

draw fictitious

Collage to show that much of the work on the Rijksmuseum happens underground.

fictitious drawing

Simple drawings to illustrate that rebuilding a lock rarely blocks traffic.

fictitious drawing

This is not a real house, of course. What should you be able to see (light, warm air) and what not (a lot).

fictitious drawing

Made-up island surrounded by estuaries, gradually gaining land. This cannot be done with a map or with a real area.