The use of alternative aesthetics in the visual communication of cancer (Master Thesis, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste 2024)
This Master’s thesis examines aesthetics' use and perceptual impact in cancer visualization. This project was done in cooperation with the Dermatologische Klinik, Universitätsspital Zürich. 

Prototype:  A “Scrollytelling”  page was created to break down the cooperation partner’s multi-drug therapy on metastasizing melanoma to make complex biomedical information more accessible to broader audiences and cancer patients.  

Abstract: Every year, millions of people receive a cancer diagnosis worldwide. Communicating a complex disease is challenging and can negatively impact a patient's well-being if done poorly. Current visual representations of cancer in media tend to follow an ominous aesthetic, which is often exaggerated to encourage preventative lifestyle changes. However, the constant use of scary imagery paired with aggressive narratives of fighting a “war on cancer” feeds into a sense of fatalism, which may have adverse effects on the welfare and decision-making of patients regarding treatment. Therefore, how can aesthetics improve communication and learning through visuals while remaining considerate of cancer patients?  This thesis explores alternative ways to present cancer through visual aesthetics to encourage learning and communication of cancer diagnoses and related treatments without causing further fear. Moreover, investigates how color, lighting, and detail form different aesthetic styles that audiences and patients perceive. Thereby, challenging orthodox perceptions and communication narratives of cancer through aesthetic visualization. 

This project took an iterative approach involving image analyses, interviews with biomedical illustrators and cancer patients, illustration experiments, and tests to find and evaluate alternative aesthetics in the visual communication of cancer.

Scrolly Telling Panels
Process and Behind the scenes
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