by zena dakkak
To further our understanding of the issue of homelessness, in week five our collaborative group continued the mapping process with several brainstorming activities to inform each other of our findings. At this point, the brainstorming activities and mapping exercises allowed the group to view each others insights and perspectives into their research.
figure one: emotive words relating to the issue
Our first exercise consisted of listing any emotive words we thought contributed to the issue of homelessness. With over 200 word results we then wrote all the words onto paper, reading them aloud as we go in case of any repeated words. We laid them onto the tables and individually marked our initials with the words we thought stood out to us. I chose the following following words:
Following, we listed the words individually selected by each group member and mapped them besides the most powerful stakeholders and the least power stakeholders. At this point we realised that almost every word related to each of the listed stakeholders.
We then moved onto writing the antonyms for each word that was selected. All the original words had a negative connotation to our issue, but as soon as we wrote the antonyms it shed a different light onto the issue and emphasised the importance of creating a positive outlook in order to progress with change.
To add to our group discoveries, we further mapped the controversies surrounding homelessness and then listed the human and non human actors and stakeholders involved.
At the beginning of this process, I didn’t really think this issue was so complex. Like many others I thought it was as simple as it is shown online or in the media. After doing some further research into my issue I began to have a basic understanding of the problems the homeless community are facing on a daily basis. Similarly, the group mapping process proved to be very valuable as we all had similar yet different views on the issue. With further research, our group was able to understand, map and flesh out a deeper understanding into the issue efficiently.
Working as a group demonstrated beneficial as it enabled us to listen and respond to each other’s perspectives on the issue. We were able to map many insights as a group rather than the little we had as individuals. As a group I found it interesting how everyone mapped their ideas. Each group member was helpful with their input and created a mapping method that will assist me in the future to create design solutions. Their views were very important and allowed me to thoroughly add additional information on the issue I would like to pursue.
As a result of co-creating maps, it has enabled me to realise the different views, hidden perspectives/ assumptions that if I solely working by myself I could not see. It has also allowed me to experiment with different approaches to map additional information that I have collected. I have started to seek different methods that I may not have considered.
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