Gaede, Rolf J


Current Institution: 

Rolf Gaede is currently an Associate Professor in Visual Communication Design and the programme co-ordinator of the PhD in Visual and Performing Arts at the Durban University of Technology. His research interests include visual literacy, visual semiotics, visual hermeneutics and research ethics.

Prof Rolf J Gaede

The ethics review of visual communication design research proposals: is a 'dual mandate' approach justifiable?



Media & Communications Design

The majority of institutional ethics committees at South African tertiary institutions state in their standard operating procedures that the role of the ethics committee includes screening proposed research with regard to the core principles of ethics (dignity and autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficence), as well as the scientific validity of the envisaged study.  

The first part of this paper debates to what extent such an approach is justified, as the notion of validity is primarily located in the philosophy of science and not in the field of moral philosophy.  

The second part of the paper illustrates some of the main points of the discussion with selected examples from the field of visual communication design research.

The examples are drawn from

Visual literacy in community communication: pretesting nutrition education materials for elderly caregivers in Boipatong



Media & Communications Design

The paper deals with issues and concerns relating to the process of pre-­‐testing visual  illustrations used in educational material in a community communication setting.

The first part of the paper discusses  how selected aspects of nutrition education materials meant for elderly care givers in Boipatong  were pre-­‐tested using questionnaires (n=55) and focus group discussions in order to establish the  target group’s views and opinions about different types of visual illustration approaches. The  information was subsequently used to guide the production of a visually illustrated nutrition  education booklet, which was distributed free of charge in the community as part of a nutrition  education intervention.

Documentary photography and indigenous knowledge: some methodological challenges



Photography, Film & Multimedia

The paper focuses on the role that documentary photographs may play in indigenous knowledge research. Visual methods, or qualitative research where visual images play an integral part of the study design, have the advantage that power imbalances between the researcher and the study population are typically low in comparison to more conservative research designs, especially when the visual material is produced by the members of the study population themselves.

The paper specifically discusses methodological aspects of scenarios where

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