One significant effect of todays digitized communication is the ease of creating and disseminating images for communication. In opposition to language – which has been reflected on since antiquity – images have not gotten an equivalent field of reflection. As the practice of visual communication finds itself at the center of the described flood of images, it is crucial to engage in interdisciplinary projects in order to broaden the understanding of how images generate meaning in social exchange. Following this line of thought, the MA program Visual Communication and Iconic Research merges practice-led design processes with aspects of iconic and media theory. The combination of practical processes of image creation and a theoretical reflection on images and media, enables students to engage in practice-led inquiries of iconic and media research.

Dr. Paloma López Grüninger studied Fine Arts at the University of Granada, Spain, and Visual Communication at the Basel School of Design, Switzerland. Between 2005 and 2008 she was a member of the Graduate School “Image and Knowledge” from eikones – NCCR Iconic Criticism. Her PhD research at the University of Granada looked into non-quantitative visualizations, particularly historic and current tree-diagrams in the domain of Biology, and the ways they construct and communicate their meaning. Her research interests are focused on information design and instructional design. Since 2012 she is a lecturer at the Master of Arts in Visual Communication and Iconic Research at the Academy of Arts and Design Basel, Switzerland, and coordinates the program since 2013.

Stephanie Müller is a current MA student at the Visual Communication and Iconic Research program. She graduated from DHBW Mediendesign with Nord – ein Archiv a visual research project on landscape as graphic design.

The Visual Communication Institute, The Basel School of Design HGK FHNW, is part of the Swiss university system and offers a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication, a Master’s in Visual Communication and Iconic Research as well as an International Master in Design in co-operation with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Beyond the educational programs, the institute is involved in practice-led research and development projects and supports PhD candidates in the field of visual communication.