In this paper, I discuss the promising use of visual architectural drawings to present findings of qualitative studies, particularly when dealing with a complex, multidimensional human experience. I examine an interdisciplinary integration between qualitative research and architecture that embraces visual elements. I propose using visual drawings borrowed from architecture as a tool to present deep meanings of human experience within a social phenomenon and make the findings visually transparent. The architectural drawings offer distinct views: one provides an overall view of the building, while the other exposes its hidden layers. I employ this visual means to highlight deep meanings obtained from two salient metaphors in the participants’ stories concerning normative identity conflict. This new practice of the importance of using visual means to present findings is consistent with contemporary discussions in sociology about how qualitative findings can be made more transparent and visible to diverse audiences. While this unique use of visual architecture means is still rare, I suggest that their implementation can contribute to innovation and contemporaneity in presenting qualitative findings. The insights of the present paper invite qualitative researchers to utilize visual interdisciplinary means to present findings that engage diverse audiences and enrich qualitative methodological discourse.


qualitative research, architecture, metaphors, multidimensional understanding, presenting findings, visual means, interdisciplinarity

Author Bio(s)

Oriana Abboud Armaly PhD, Bar-Ilan University, Conflict Management, Resolution and Negotiation Program. For her doctoral thesis, she received the President of the State of Israel scholarship for outstanding and innovative researchers. She is a faculty member in the Department of MA Studies in Organizational Development and Consulting at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College. Oriana is a Joint head of Center for Diversity and Intergroup Conflict Studies, and a fellow researcher at the Center for Action Research and Social Justice at the Max Stern Yezreel Valley Academic College. Oriana has many years of experience in encounters between identity groups in conflict, in academia and society. Fields of interest: Identity, Intercultural and inter-group relations, Intra group conflict, Dialogue, Minorities, Organizational learning, educational leadership, Qualitative Research and action research. Please direct correspondence to: orianaa@yvc.ac.il


My thanks to the former President of the State of Israel for a generous scholarship that made it possible to carry out the research. Special thanks to RPBW Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Genova, Italy for the permission to use the aarchitectural drawings and the support for the paper.

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