Creative Director / Founder – Nerd/Noir
Alexandra West was born and raised in Florida. She moved to Atlanta to attend Emory University, where she earned a degree in Art History. After graduating, Alex remained in Atlanta and worked in several non-profit and commercial art galleries before finding her way to film and television.
Working her way through the art department, Alex spent several years creating environments for feature films and television programs. Currently, she provides commercial art direction, design consulting and VTS training to a variety of clients.
When not busy curating the beautiful and unusual, Alex can be found eating cheese. All kinds of cheese.
Session: A Visual Thinking Warm-up
Do strong personalities dominate your development team? Are code reviews painful? Are you blindly following orders from a backlog, or are you learning from observation?
Visual Thinking Strategies, or VTS, is a cross-disciplinary technique applicable to anyone working in a collaborative setting where observation is key. VTS develops critical thinking skills by viewing and discussing works of art in a group. It is backed by over 30 years of field research showing its effectiveness and accessibility. By allowing individuals to talk about art – without needing a background in the field – VTS advances skills you can use to create more relevant products and stronger teams: Observing, Brainstorming, Speculating, Reasoning with Evidence, Cultivating a Point of View, and Revision & Elaboration.
During this interactive exercise, we’ll discuss selected works of art as a group. There are no right answers or group consensus being sought. We’re creating an environment and process for looking, thinking, reasoning and revision – skills that are mission-critical to anyone working in a software design or development role. After our group discussion, I’ll introduce the basics of image selection and facilitating VTS sessions within your organization. In addition to the above, I’ll cover how VTS can help you and your team with the following: Comfort with Ambiguity, Openness to the Unfamiliar, Civil Debate, and Willingness to Participate in Group Thinking.