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Transcript of GIGA-MAPPING: VISUALISATION
FOR COMPLEXITY AND SYSTEMS
THINKING IN DESIGN
OSLO SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
OCEAN DESIGN RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
GIGA-mapping in on one of several particular techniques developed for and within an emerging approach to design for complexity called Systems Oriented Design (SOD).
Systems Oriented Design as well as GIGA-mapping has been developed by the author and colleagues at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
Designers need to become better at dealing with complexity.
SOD is systems thinking tailored by and for designers.
GIGA-maps try to grasp, embrace and mirror the complexity and wickedness of real life problems.
GIGA-mapping, the topic of the paper is embedded in this context of design, systems thinking and visualisation.
Visualisation in design is used for representation, drawing sketches and renderings of possible solutions, but also can be used for information visualisation and visualisation of dynamic actions like service design blue prints and story boards.
GIGA-mapping is a tool to increase and aid our capacity to grasp and work with super complexity.
The potential of true visual thinking emerges not only from documenting thoughts but by visualising and dynamically forming the analyses and developing the thinking from the visualisation.
GIGA-mapping has a multi scalar approach, spanning from the global scale down to small details and layer many types of information.
Main conceptual frameworks
DESIGN THINKING AND DESIGN PRACTICE
Methodological framing: Preparation, Incubation, Illumination, and Verification
VISUAL THINKING AND VISUAL PRACTICE
Visualisation in GIGA-mapping intends to be applied in processes as well as for communication and involves participation and collective production of information.
SYSTEMS THINKING AND SYSTEMS PRACTICE
It is required that designers respond not only to singular aspects
of the design task, like the concept, usage and shape of the product and service, but also that they increase their understanding regarding e.g. technology, client-specific frameworks, cultural
aspects, market analyses, sustainability and ethical concerns.
SOD brings together these different design and systems practices with Critical Systems Thinking, foresight and scenario thinking.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
Why problems occur?
A natural progression in the design process is narrowing down aspects and possible solutions towards the end of the process.
The amount of information is so large that not everything is properly taken into consideration.
Small issues that seem unimportant can become crucial for the process at certain moments.
The client´s organisation is not understood properly.
Different sections of the organisation are not always well coordinated.
GIGA-maps are ultimately tools for drawing systems boundaries. Boundaries are needed to frame the system.
GIGA-mapping ensures that all efforts are taken to track
down what is relevant and to include it in the design.
TYPES OF GIGA-MAPPING
Hierarchical maps: Mind maps
Non-hierarchical maps: Concept maps
Time based maps: Gantt; Timelines; Flow charts; Story boards.
Images; videos; soundtracks.
USAGE OF GIGA-MAPPING
Learning; Research; Imagination; Management; Implementation
Event mapping: Working with orchestrating of complex events.
Planning: Registering, describing and modifying complex processes.
Innovation: Defining areas and points for intervention and innovation.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
How to avoid problems?
An early anchoring of the project in the relevant sections of the organisation like marketing, economic, strategic management, technology and production.
A careful early forecasting of the implementation phase and investigations into worst case scenarios and risk evaluation might induce early interventions in the design that could prevent some crucial problems.
Re-examining the design material at points of iteration will help secure that the information is brought into play and developed while it is updated and re-understood through the designing process.
GIGA-mapping is the central tool for such sampling, re-aligning and synchronizing of complex information through out the design process.
GIGA-mapping is super extensive mapping across multiple layers and scales, investigating relations between seemingly separated categories and so implementing boundary critique to the conception and framing of systems.
A good way to build knowledge for a project is to start with mapping out the things one already knows and what one assumes. This is a superior tool to register and coordinate knowledge form several collaborators and to jump-start the project.
A central aspect of working with very complex tasks is to keep as many aspects of a problem field in play for as long as possible throughout the process.