‘Ideagrams’ seek to encapsulate complex ideas in graphic word clusters.

The term ‘ideagram’ is an invented word derived from the merging of ideogram, diagram and idea. It will become clear that I use it to denote a form of graphic that incorporates aspects of all three forms. The term is used as a label for a certain form of graphic that is not exactly either an ideogram or a diagram, but something else that places words, representing concepts  and generalisations in geometric relationships Rather than sentences. They have a meaning that is different to and more succinct than a narrative and they offer material for contemplation. Each ideagram provides a mnemonic, summarising a cluster of related concepts that interact and gain depth due to proximity. The resultant cluster of related ideas serves to stimulate thought. It is also more flexible and less prescriptive than a narrative so is capable of constantly refreshing itself.

The best way to understand ideagrams is to look at and contemplate the ones that follow here.


Universal Unique:

This ideagram represents a set of “fuzzy logic” ideas about the universal/general and the particular/unique. Starting at the bottom, with the notion of the individual and experience, dealing firstly with relationships, which diverged into two columns with the universal or general on the left and the unique or particular on the right. Then, as we progress upwards, the ideagram suggests further parallels that fall into the two categories as described in the light ochre coloured panels, either as ‘diffuse-adaptive-mobile’ or ‘concentrated-fixed-anchored’. Within the concepts/categories there will be instances that do not strictly fit the pattern, but these do not destroy the generalised logic. These relationships represent an intuitive understanding of experienced phenomena that would take a few pages of text to explore in a narrative or discursive way. Those with a philosophical turn of mind might detect a hint of ideas that relate mind to matter or experience to imagination and that, for instance, Plato was exploring with his notion of “forms”.


Nature and the cosmos:



The material universe:


The individual in relation to his/her environment:


Human life choices and activities 1:
Human life choices and activities 2:

TownFunctExt copy1

City functions


Forms of settlement:


Life plan


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