POST 7: Issue mapping…again?

Mapping Deja Vu

A note of personal reflection:

Not sure if its just me, but it feels like groundhog day every time I grab my sharpie and sit in front of a piece of butcher’s paper the size of myself, ready to make a map. I swear we’re mapping the exact same themes, stakeholders and issues every time – look through my posts – does every map resemble a previous one? Possibly. *Spoiler* Maybe its a sign that we’ve exhausted every facet of the housing affordability topic and are so well versed in it that we’re ready to define a problem statement??…

10 Brains are better than 1?

My qualms aside, collaborative mapping is a good way to collectively get out on paper different facets of knowledge on our topic. Its hard to organise all the information you’ve been reading on news sites, scholarly sources and on the web in general, paired with your own existing general knowledge – and map it all out in one sitting. It gets confusing, and that’s where working collaboratively is great. The others in the group are able to fill in any gaps in your knowledge and remember things that you may have left out. As well as being able to feed off each other’s idea and come to realisations that you wouldn’t have examined if it weren’t discussed in a group setting. Because we’d done our mapping exercises collaboratively in every studio session, it felt like we were mapping the same thing every time – just in a slightly different format. Whether it be from a quantitative or qualitative perspective – looking at the status quo, stakeholders/or polemic opinions and views.

*insert 3 angles of mapping shots*

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Its interesting because from my perspective, the issue of housing affordability has such clear, constant parties that are almost always involved. With three main active parties in the issue, each with visible and invisible attributes.

The Humans: 

Visible: Homeowners, renters, homeless, developers/investors

Invisible: Their sentiments and values e.g. Australian dream, attitudes to homeownership etc. 

The Infrastructure: 

Visible: The physical buildings and structures 

Invisible: The metaphorical structures e.g. Government policies, local council regulations

The Media:

What represents this issue to the masses, informs and voices our opinions. 

And group mapping constantly reinforces these key players every time we put pen to paper. We all seem to have a similar understanding and opinions on the landscape of housing affordability.

Jumping Into Action

Through going through this seemingly repetitive iterative process each week, though I feel like through this repetition we have been really able to hone in on a section of this huge issue that really resonates with us. And that we feel is most important to us in this current climate.

A creation of a problem space: 

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Any form of change is best instigated from a place that someone is most familiar with. As there is the most first-hand knowledge to work off, and ‘field work’ level, gritty understanding of the issue. Thus this is our problem statement:

“In 21st Century Australia, Generation Y is experiencing difficulties when it comes to buying their first home. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world and because of the high cost of living, paired with the younger generation’s low to medium starting income, this creates unfair opportunities for them in a housing market dominated by older, richer generations and property investors. The lack of collaborative government support in affordable housing, and a surplus of unsuitable property supply, results in a rapid disappearing model of the Australian Dream.”

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