Jessica Parris Westbrook, DePaul University
Adam Trowbridge
, DePaul University

The design and development of systems, including products, games, and experiences requires the expertise of a wide range of creative people who need to share their ideas and communicate with each other. Some of these people are designers, some are researchers or data scientists, some are writers, some are architects, engineers, programmers, some are artists or media producers. Each person involved has discipline-specific skills and is trained in the use of discipline-specific language, tools, conventions, and methods. This paper/presentation collects and investigates visual thinking methods used in a range of creative practices. It seeks to go beyond the all too familiar Post-it note and traces histories and evolutions of established visual methods for generating, planning, capturing, sorting, and communicating in-progress ideas.


Jessica Parris Westbrook is a media artist, designer, researcher, and creative coder. She uses design to negotiate and organize the joys and struggles of information and understanding. Westbrook is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Design, College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago, IL (2016). Before taking a formal interest in higher education and learning, Westbrook worked professionally in a range of capacities from front-end web developer and interactive designer to creative director while maintaining an active independent interdisciplinary studio practice. Westbrook has an MFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (1998), and a BFA in Photography from the University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 1996.

Adam Trowbridge is a designer, programmer, and code media researcher. His current work focuses on biobehavioral interface design, mobile health, programming pedagogy for designers, and geolocated augmented reality. He is currently developing an OS for and by designers, starting with assembly language, as a speculative design and open source project promoting creative autonomy. His previous projects employed augmented reality to highlight police omnipresence and security theater. Trowbridge holds an MFA in Electronic Visualization from the University of Illinois Chicago and worked professionally in design and UI/UX in range of capacities including: Information Architect, Director of User Interface and Design, Web Developer, and Director of Project Management.