Mitch Miller MA (Hons) Politics and Modern History, MSc. Social Research Methods

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Design



Diagram and Dialect
Dialectogram in process

Diagram and Dialect


Mitch Miller

The mytho-geographical line, the time map and the tactical drawing: A Practice-led inquiry into the Dialectogram

Supervisors: Dr. Gordon Hush, Paul Stickley , Dr. Laura González (from February 2014), Steve Rigley (from February 2014)

The Dialectogram is a neologism coined from combining the word ‘diagram’ with ‘dialect’ or ‘dialectic’. Dialectograms are an emergent style of drawing that offers a meeting point between ethnography, documentary, socially engaged practice and mytho-geographic aesthetics, in depicting a range of urban locations, often of a marginal or vulnerable nature – crumbling tower blocks, travellers’ sites, derelict bingos, anachronistic pubs and beleaguered suburban high streets. My PhD research will produce a series of A0 format illustrations of locations within Glasgow which will form the basis of a technical commentary for conceptualising, interpreting and visualising ‘dialectographic’ (s)p(l)ace and the use of illustration as a documentary tool. The production of the original drawings will be linked to practical questions around how to refine the methods and technique involved in their making, and how to effectively disseminate large, cumbersome drawings in a fashion commensurate with their aims and intentions.

Taking a lead from the practice-led questions, I wish to explore the idea of the ‘tactical’ everyday through developing the hand-drawn dialectogram as a form of visualisation that represents de Certeau’s ‘manoeuvring’ in the face of political, economic and social authority. Throughout, I will attempt to achieve, and better understand, the social, cognitive, relational and performative processes through which the drawings are created, resulting in potential contributions toward understanding and articulating practices in documentary illustration/illustrative journalism, mytho-geography, drawing research, human geography and theories of the everyday.