Stella Auburger



An exploration of the influence of grammatical gender on visual representation

Studium: Master Visuelle Kommunikation und digitale Räume
Jahr: 2022
Mentor*innen: Leander Eisenmann, Dr. Phil. Claire Raymond, Ludwig Zeller

Instagram: @steello

We construct our world with language. Through language we create reality, with language we act, language reflects our view of the world. The current state of research in linguistics shows how the language we speak can influence, expand, and change our thinking and imagination, which raises the unexamined question of how these findings relate to and affect visual communication.

Stella Auburger’s master’s thesis explores the question to what extent the influence of the language we speak is reflected in our non-linguistic representation. The topic of investigation is thereby the example of grammatical gender, which has been shown to influence our associations and can lead us to categorise, judge or even gender inanimate objects. Thus providing a casual link from the mental to the material world. Through visual representation, gendered qualities are often inherent in objects, making them social rather than neutral.

The theoretical and visual investigation of this topic starts from the hypothesis that linguistically conditioned perceptual differences influence the way we depict visual properties, and explores the research question of whether the differences in grammatical gender of a language can influence visual properties. A series of experimental approach-es will be used to find out which visual properties such as colour, material, and form carry semantic values of masculinity and femininity, which objects they are inherent to, and whether a correspondence to grammatical gender can be drawn. This research study aims to create a reflective visual contribution to this fluid and complex subject matter in order to open up a discussion about language, images and reality, and to encourage designers to further approach the topic of the interplay between our verbal and visual communication.

Diese Seite wurde archiviert. / This page has been archived.