I keep thinking that the ship should have a giant deflector dish that is taller and wider than the whole ship, which would sit behind it, and that contours to the inner edge of the warp field. Almost like a Warshawski sail from the Honor Harrington series
of novels, but with an actual material to it. I mean, if you had never seen a force shield and were told that the deflector shielded the ship, what would you think of? But then again, maybe not.
This thread reminds me of something my late sister once said about (I think it was) Barlow's Guide to Extraterrestrials. Her impossible (yet strangely practical) thought was that it would have been better if the artist had never seen an Earth animal before. Her comments about how the artist would borrow a piece of a gorilla here, a piece of zebra there was unimaginative. I can't really argue with that...even though it's impossible to achieve!
Not sure it's impossible, or at least won't soon be possible. How about a blind artist? Or even better (maybe, not sure), a previously blind artist who is given a more advanced version of those implant chips like Stevie Wonder has
, in the not too distant future, and is then asked to draw them without being shown any animals?