Initially, it seemed as though brainstorming with only two people in regards to such a big issue would result in a limited amount of content and ideas. Despite this setback, my partner and I managed to break through many barriers to create a wide-reaching web across multiple actors, issues, emotions and ideas. As we sprawled illegible writing across a sheet of butcher’s paper, we been to make links, connections and boundaries across all these ideas and create groups which shared similar ideas and values. Diving so deeply into this process allowed us to push past mental boundaries and generate a large bank of ideas which could later translate into more creative and unique projects.
As I was more interested in the social and political sides of our issue, my partner was more focused on the cultural and the artistic aspects, which allowed me to learn and further develop my ideas into these categories. I learned more about cosmology and the Dreamtime as well as widening my bank of well-known & out-spoken Indigenous Australians. Without the brainstorming workshop, I wouldn’t have thought to access and explore these ideas which contribute so largely to the issue of Aboriginal Rights within current day Australians.
Another aspect to this brainstorming session which was quite unique to us was the ability to join with another group who weren’t involved in our issue. While everyone else was paired with people within their own issues, we were able to branch out beyond this and speak to people who were less involved and who could give us a fresh outlook on our ideas and issues. Also receiving feedback from the whole class group on which of our main stakeholders stood out most was another really useful piece of feedback. This information allowed us to explore which ideas and names were familiar & unfamiliar to uninvolved participants which led to a better understanding of our audiences and what kinds of language and ideas we could draw upon in future to either better educate or build upon knowledge when designing project concepts and ideas.
After partaking in this issue mapping exercise and later reading through ‘Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe’ I was able to further realise the importance of thoroughly mapping out thoughts and ideas and how greatly this can positively impact the work process and the final outcome. Taking ideas from Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck and Jeremy Crampton and re-affirming the notion that ‘that neither the theory, nor the method, nor the tool alone or two in tandem comprise good mapping practice.’ (1)
Rogers, R, Sánchez-Querubín, N & Kil, A. 2015,‘Issue Mapping for an Aging Europe.’ Amsterdam University Press, pp.14