Post 9 – Searching for the Silver Lining in a Brainstorm

Lily Partridge

Surce A: A refined map based upon the brainstorming process in class around the topic of single-sex rights groups on the internet.

Above is a refined version of the mapping exercise that I undertook with my group of 4 in our tutorial last week. This process of developing a problem statement and brainstorming lead to a variety of possible design propositions explored in my most recent post. Initially my problem statement was too broad and wouldn’t have allowed for in depth insights and refined solutions, and so for the first half of the exercise we were brainstorming different elements of the solutions, for example the language, angle, tone, ideal outcome and how to elaborate upon previous research that had been undertaken.

About half way through the process we began developing possible solutions to the problem statement and on the map these can be seen 2-3 components away from the centre. I was really interested in the idea of analysing language and tone as I’d recently undertaken the data scraping task for blog 6 and was fascinated by the way that single-sex rights and liberation groups on Reddit spoke about the other gender, with an ingrained sense of contempt and casual use of derogatory language that appeared to be permissible amongst these communities. A barrier of the brainstorming here was that no one in our group had experience with or understanding of how to quantify tone or whether there were any bots or algorithms that have the capability to register tone and language to this extent. I think I will continue down this kind of path for my final proposal, whether it is more generative or visualisation-driven, as we were able to come up with some really interesting options to take further.

A benefit to undertaking this task extended beyond just my own brainstorming period; helping others develop their proposals gave me a glimpse into different areas of the board topic of gender equality that I hadn’t investigated myself. For some reason I felt that my own concept development was stronger when working with the other topic areas, so whether I’m currently blinkered in my own approach or I’ve exhausted all solutions in a narrow area I’m not sure, but it was a little disheartening to not feel as confident with my own brainstorm. In hindsight, I feel that this process would have been much more effective if I had been able to completely clear my mental slate and approach the topic without ideas already in my head. This will be something to consider for next brainstorm I think!