What is an Artifact? What is a Schematic?

Something I likely should have done first… ah well is understand the terms Artifact and schematic. By understanding these terms I can understand the assignment.

What is an Artifact?

According to Google: “An object made by a human being typically of cultural or historical interest”

So for our artifact we need it to be interesting and of significance; like it could belong in a museum. “Made by human” is  an interesting phrase. Does this mean it can’t be a natural object?  The assignment is that we create the artifact, you could take it as that it can’t just be something ripped from the story for example; The whip from Indiana Jone Franchise. Its needs to be more thought out. (Or I have overthought that phrase, most likely)

Below taken from: [Yi-Fu,Tuan,Geographical Review ‘The Significance of an Artifact’ Volume 70, Issue 4, pg 462-472, October 1980]

  • “Manifests human experience”
  • “That can stand through the erosion of time, accommodated in a museum”
  • “What is it in life we value?”
  • Artifacts are thrust into the world. They have the power to stabilise life”
  • “High visibility & performance in people’s awareness and enables mortals to save immortality.”
  • We are inclined to believe: 
    “Artifacts carry greater symbolic import of the past than they do now- but such attention as they attracted depended to a large degree on speech. Words are necessary to sustain a potency of a visual symbol”
  • “Artefacts are not objects of thought. Artifacts stir our minds for various reasons “

The following text made some valid points on artifacts. It’s not about the history of an object but what it’s meaning is. That carries a lot more than the history will. Dependant on what the artifact depends on it’s impact, if done correctly it can make a lasting effect that people will have a lasting impression of.Stated before, the artifact is made by humans so it needs to represent a human experience and not loose information of the truth.

Artifacts can challenge and excite and not just represent a story. It represents value, what matters most; for Thelma and Louise we need to think what the characters and we as an audience value most in the story. is it the adventure? the lessons they learnt? an objects which causes a catalyst for the story?

What is a Schematic?

Google describes it as; “Representation of the elements of a system using the abstract graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures…may add unrealistic elements that aid comprehension.”

So from that I’ve gathered its something that represents the bigger picture. It needs explained to be understood and is there as a visual. Its presented using graphics; does that mean words and descriptions can be eliminated? Can you tell the story without words?

Conánn used a  tube map as an example of a schematic; these feature no words and lines intersecting with a key to guide the audience or person. Using colour coded maps can indicated where it line is located and make for visualising a start point and an end point easier.


Jenny also posted some interesting diagrams. Some may not be considered schematics but visually are interesting and tell a story. Do we aim for minimalism or chaos?, do we keep it graphic or make it into a piece of art? These are questions we will have to approach as we are constructing the schematic.




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