Post 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

In the final group brainstorming session we collectively gave insight and feedback into each others issues and how best to/how to possibly undertake and provide a design solution. After some discussion in week 8 the pinpoint focus of my issue could be described in one word, and that was the word future.

Initially during the class I focused my mind mapping on purely the climate change factor in relation to weather patterns however I soon found that there wasn’t enough depth and engaging information to make a design solution for. Instead by linking issues of climate change to existing problems in Sydney such as infrastructure, urban planning, population – and on a wider level, resources – that affect young people today I felt that there was more of a story to tell.

Firstly however, in reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the group sessions I found that the activities in general were very much like a double edged sword.

Strengths I found were that in collaboration you can generate many ideas quickly, you are enlightened to opinions and concepts you yourself would never have thought of. As well as this feedback can be helpful – but only when appropriately critical. Overall, the group sessions were a very interesting and engaging learning experience of how we all think in different ways.

Weaknesses on the other hand I felt was that brainstorming often made it hard to develop my own concepts richly. In the end I left feeling that I learnt an overwhelming amount of general information and built upon my existing (very basic I might add) knowledge of climate change issues but not to an extent of which I felt particularly passionate. I think this is a result of the speed at which ideas are churned out in this process. Furthermore it often left me confused and with too many possibilities and ideas to wrap my head around. Another weakness being that unless your peers have knowledge of your specified – sometimes very niche – topic their help can be very limited.

As I said, although helpful in churning out general ideas, my final mind map (which I did independently again in response to my failed class idea) is a more specific dissection of my chosen issue to extract more relevant ideas instead of spending more time on vague generalisations. I found that what I really needed to do was get into the very specific details of my chosen issue and look at who, what, where, how, when and why my takes place in relation to the most direct stakeholders. The problem with undertaking research and contemplating the climate change issue as we uncovered week and week again is the severe breadth of influence it has on the world, and the incredibly complex connections between all factors and stakeholders that contribute and are affected by the climate change problem. By creating a narrower focus I was able to create a clearer picture in my mind of what I wanted to change and how I would go about doing so.