{post 7} the process of mapping.

mapping process. reflection. judith tan.

(Julie 2016)

Before I scraped the web, for over a period of two to three weeks, the homelessness collaboration group I am working with went through several brainstorming sessions to write and map out what we had individually learned thus far. The purpose was to gain different and broader perspectives from each other’s research and points of view.

Continue reading “{post 7} the process of mapping.”


08 – Getting to the point

After weeks of research, the project had now come to the point where it was necessary to shift the focus to developing a single, refined problem within the immensely broad topic of mental health. For me, the language surrounding mental health in media dialogue has been a particularly provocative issue, and hence has informed most of my research thus far. To inform the development of potential design proposals which would respond to this issue, it became crucial to write out precisely which factors are pivotal to its existence.

Five W’s

Who – journalists, television/radio presenters (news and entertainment), producers/editors of productions/publications, doctors, medical practitioners, medical/scientific researchers

What – the problem is bound in outdated understandings of mental health, which are based on a lack of existing/developed scientific knowledge. A basic understanding of the role and importance of the brain is a very recent scientific discovery, especially when viewed within the grander context of human history. The continuation of this boundary is facilitated by inconsistent education systems and differing cultural customs.

When – the problem begins from a child’s developing years as they come to understand the world based on the teachings of others and personal experiences. The problem is often present in any discussion mentioning mental health. Such discussions are not necessarily verbal, but can also be communicated through disbelieving glances or scoffs, as well as the developing digital language of emojis, acronyms, hashtags and gifs.

Where – In conversation between friends or strangers, in televised/broadcasted discussions/commentaries, in published articles (academic, news-focused, topical or opinion-based), in comment sections across all forms of digital platforms (i.e. blogs, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), in advertisements (print and digital), and also in film (discussion point or core plot/character development).

Why – The existence of careless and uninformed language around mental health promotes the continued prevalence of stigma through society. This in turn limits the availability of services for those in need, as well as further research into the field. Such limitations are a result of inequitable government funding and poor charity funding, since the general public is less invested in the importance of mental health when compared to physical health. Furthermore, these societal perceptions inhibit the willingness of individuals to be open about their problems and seek help, or the ability of those who are actively seeking help to feel accepted and not ‘other’.

Continue reading “08 – Getting to the point”

Post 9 – Brainstorming in a spoken sense

Rekha Dhanaram

Our group brainstorming session wasn’t as productive as it could’ve been. I think this a result of many factors. The work ‘mind map’ seemed to have become a trigger word and instead of being excited to delve into our problem spaces we felt less enthused. And perhaps the fact that we chose to be seated around a single table in the corner with no real space for our butchers paper and bags put us off as well. However these factors were more accentuated due to my personal reflection of my progress in the subject prior to that class. I felt quite worried cause I hadn’t developed a focus, an area I really wanted to explore and this indadvertedly made me feel overwhelmed. However looking back whilst these weaknesses were present, I feel that by the end of the lesson I had gained something, even if it weren’t an actual brainstorm.

Instead throughout the course of the lesson we did discuss around the questions we were provided. As we were trying to discern our problem statements it was interesting to see what areas people found interesting in this topic which provided further revelations. One of the most valuable insight I took away from this exercise was how I can focus on a niche area and still help the bigger problem at hand. As we discussed the issue it became apparent that each of us were interested in different areas such as refugee experiences, media representation and the international community. And personally I found myself talking a lot about censorship, refugee rights and experiences. Thus when looking back it became obvious to me that whilst I thought I had no focus area, I had somehow narrowed my focus without knowing and became more well versed in one area.

At the conclusion of this class, whilst I didn’t have a brainstorm, I had answered all the problem statement questions and began to develop a statement as well. Whilst it didn’t seem like a lot at the time, the discussion and questions provided the framework for my proposal. In addition when I got home, I decided to brainstorm on my own to help articulate the conversation and thoughts of that day.




Post Nine: Another day, another map

Following on from The Proposal (post eight), this blog post explores the possible ways design can make a difference or contribute to change within an audience of 18-25 year olds. I chose to narrow down the topic of online surveillance and data privacy to scam emails and online fraud, and the mindmap below displays possible design options in regards to this area.

Mindmap of design ideas to create change in the online privacy world for 18-25 year olds

The mindmap was created using IDEO’s brainstorming tips/methods after writing down a problem statement; un-educated online users are getting scammed daily through emails and fake advertisements leading to avoidable fraud and identity theft

The ideas explored in the map came about through first discussing the problem statement in a small group, and then creating a discussion that enabled us to pump out ideas quickly (go for quantity) and most importantly, without judgement. By simply stating any relevant idea (encouraging wild ideas) that came to mind, we were able to delve deeper into the focus area, building on the ideas of our peers in order to generate the best design possibilities.

However, as discussed in The Proposal, I realised when reviewing my mindmap that the design ideas displayed above do not have the immediate capacity to benefit a group of 18-25 year olds, and therefore do not fit the design brief. I have since amended this problem statement to attempt to fix or change online fraud affecting users through cookies. This new problem area not only has a place within the target audience but has more room to explore emergent practices through design.

Design Kit 2016, Brainstorm Rules, IDEO, viewed 20 September 2016, <http://www.designkit.org/methods/28&gt;.

Header image
Buzzfeed 2013, 25 moments when Joey and Chandler won at friendship, viewed 20 September 2016, <https://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/joey-and-chandler?utm_term=.fdA6rP1x1#.ws5RelGWG&gt;.

By Chloe Schumacher

POST 8: Brainstorming Possibilities for a Design Response

by Jessica Avelina Horo

Finally, on this week I’m starting to see how my research and brainstorming process could lead me to. In one of the brainstorming process about the problem in the refugee issues, I have some kind of interest towards the one about refugees experiencing trauma in detention centre. I posted the map visualisation in Post 9, but I also put the map that I’m talking about below.



Problem Statement:

Taking some words from an article by Amnesty International,

(Sydney, 3 August, 2016)—“About 1,200 men, women, and children who sought refuge in Australia and were forcibly transferred to the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru suffer severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Australian government’s failure to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate policy to deter further asylum seekers from arriving in the country by boat”. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

It is so tragic that from my researches, I found that refugees and asylum seekers on detention centre have been held there for like three years and then be neglected by the health workers and other service provided who have been hired by the Australian government. Not only that, local Nauruans also gave them unpunished assaults. I couldn’t imagine how traumatic these experiences would be for the refugees. They crossed the sea, not knowing how their life gonna be, risking their family, leaving all they have behind and hoping for better future but all they received is these treatments. As we can see from the map that I drew in the class, I tried to break down how the experience would be for refugees and all the related stakeholders. This has to change now. Life is already really hard for refugees in detention centre,  and it is even harder after they got released to the community. People are having these strong attitudes to reject refugees coming to the community, it exist because of a lack of cultural understanding between both groups. If mutual acceptance and respect was found and maintained, perhaps there would be less conflicting perspectives.

From here, I want to see what I can do to prepare refugees and the community to live together harmoniously after such traumatic experiences. By clarifying my problem statement, I was able to gather all of my thoughts on the issue into a concise brief that I can address in the Task 3. All the refugees’ needs is a new LIFE, which I will break down to 4 design possibilities; Love, Impart, Fellowship and Empower and for the last one is about empathy.

5 Possibilities

1 Love

Amnesty International tried to break down people’s misconception about refugees:

  • Asylum seekers are not ‘illegal’ – it is a human right to seek asylum by boat in Australia (UN Refugee Convention and Australian Migration Act 1958)
  • The majority of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are found to be genuine refugees fleeing persecution, torture and violence.

(Our campaign for refugees and asylum seekers, 2016)


One of the problem that I found from this issue is because of a lack of cultural understanding between both groups. Both of them are lack of mutual acceptance and respect. There are enough border control to stop refugees coming into countries but is this the right way? People are having this misconceptions about refugees, Islamophobia, an exaggerated hostility toward Muslims and Islam, appear to be on the rise in both Europe and the United States. This too will happened to Australia if we don’t spread the love from now. Educate people how we can embrace multiculturalism without fighting each other. Hostile and politicised rhetoric only adds fuel to the fire of Islamophobia, we don’t need to add more. The world is too full of negativity already. It is written by law, as mentioned by Amnesty above, that asylum seekers are not ‘illegal’, they are genuinely come fleeing persecution and war.

One mother said: “When they go to school, the Nauruan children call our children ‘refugee,’ not by name. People have names. They say, ‘Why are you here? This is our country. You should leave. We don’t like you staying here.” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

Have we lose our humanity that we refuse to help people in need? They are facing rejection everywhere they go. This is the time to embrace them, spread the love and accept them by who they are.

2  Impart 

Give them opportunity to show their contribution to the Australian’s society and this could also give them an opportunity to start a career in a foreign career, where nobody knows them, and where they have to start from scratch.

3 Fellowship

Too many misunderstandings from what have been reported from the news, articles, photos but never from the person him/herself. So it would be great if we can have a chance to build a deeper relationship, to get to know refugee not from external sources but first-hand experience.  The result of this experience would be to break the myth that people have without checking the facts, clear the misunderstanding, embrace multiculturalism and know the refugees’ rights.

4 Empower

“…..almost 7,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean alone in the two years since the first big shipwreck in October 2013” (8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis, 2015)

“Nearly all interviewees reported mental health issues of some kind—high levels of anxiety, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and feelings of listlessness and despondency were most commonly mentioned—that they said began when they were transferred to Nauru”. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

“People here don’t have a real life. We are just surviving. We are dead souls in living bodies. We are just husks. We don’t have any hope or motivation” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

Refugees experience a lot of  trauma caused by the boat’s journey, uncertainty and mistreat in the detention centre and stress after they got released. Refugees also receive bullying in their school or workplace. In result they have identity issues, even after they are released into the community, people don’t see them as an individual, they see them as refugees. The refugees need some sort of empowerment; a centre that could empower them in terms of language, general knowledge about Australia, skills and psychology trauma.

5 Empathy

An asylum seeker described conditions while his wife was in labour:

“I saw my wife lying under the bed. The bed didn’t have a mattress. . . . I saw the nurse, an Australian nurse, playing on her tablet. My wife was crying. I said, ‘Please do something for my wife. This is like a jail, not a delivery room.’ The bathroom didn’t have tissue or hand washing liquid. I went out to buy hand washing liquid and rolls of tissue.” (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

“Australia’s policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat is cruel in the extreme,” said Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, who conducted the investigation on the island for the organisation. (Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru, 2016)

The Australian government may have failed to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate polity to deter further asylum seekers from arriving the country by boat. As mentioned by one of the refugees in the detention centre, they have been neglected by the health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government. Not only that, they also receive frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. Self-harm and suicide attempts are common in the detention centre, all these actions are in result of their uncertainty about their future, which Australian government has failed to manage. Apart from the negative news that have been spread around about refugees, there are still some Australians that are in the refugees’ side but they cannot express their empathy. We need an event or a platform to show our empathy to the refugees and by doing so also to raise awareness for general people. However, it would be hard to get people to participate as a lot of them have a negative attitude to this issue.


My proposal is in respond to my last possibility listed above, which aims to get people and refugees in an big annual event. The concept is to have the event probably in places like Darling Harbour and it will be held annually because this issue have been there for years and the impact to the refugees’ emotion won’t be quick to heal. As we all know that refugees issue is a complicated case happened in many countries without having the real solution that could solve the issue. However, even though a lot of people are blinded by the misconceptions but there are still a lot of people who wants to say sorry to refugees. For people who wants to give sympathy to the refugees, they could stay together in this event to contribute something positive to the refugees or the refugees themselves could show their true side directly to the Australians.

This concept could result with people embracing refugees and changed their perceptions about them. Refugees also would feel appreciated and welcomed by the events that celebrates their presence in the community.



Reference List

8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis 2015, Amnesty.org. viewed 19 September 2016, <https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2015/10/eight-solutions-world-refugee-crisis/&gt;.

Media Centre | Amnesty International : Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru 2016, Amnestymedia. viewed 19 September 2016, <http://www.amnestymedia.org/story.asp?ID=TEQBR&title=Australia__Appalling_abuse__neglect_of_refugees_on_Nauru&language=English&gt;.

Our campaign for refugees and asylum seekers 2016, Amnesty Australia. viewed 19 September 2016, <http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/comments/24019/&gt;.

Post 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming session

By Yu Zhang

During the brainstorming session, everyone had an opportunity to develop a map that base on their problem statement and proposition. I was started with Sexual Assault for mapping but found that it’s too broad. The tutor suggested we should start something more specific, that’s why we decided to do the map with communities of religion.


Brainstorm 1: Buddhism


During the group discussion, we had a conversation about Buddhism and came out with equality between man and women, which guide us to have a specific topic for deciding what kind of proposition should I do. Speaking of Buddhism, the impression of women is very negative, include lust, jealous, vicious. They think most of the women can not be buddha because inside of women’s body is dirty, so women only can become buddha when they became man. Also. Buddhism has criteria about how to become perfect women, include be extremely patient, good at housework, no cheating, no jealous, no lazy, must respect to husband etc. However, I think Buddhism has very strict sexism problem that reflects on the criteria to women and the comments of women. On the other hand, buddha won’t physically harm women and just stay away from them. Overall, I still think Buddhism don’t show enough respect to women and it might be able to use these contents to develop a proposition that appeals the biased comments to women from Buddhism.
The weakness of this idea is even Buddhism is biased on women, but they never plan to spread those bias to the world, because Buddhism encourages to be harmonious and forgive anything that could guide you to be negative or just stay away from it instead of conflict with it. So it could receive a very limited effect on developing the proposal with Buddhism. Also, the nature of Buddhism is very positive, it’s not necessary to challenge it even it has defect on the field of treating women.

Brainstorm 2: Muslim


Another religion we were discussed is Muslim. Basically, the status of women in Muslim is very low, they don’t even have freedom to do something they want while they have lots of behavior to be forbidden, includes not able to show their body in public place, travel individually and contact another person individually. Also, the husband is the absolute authority of every Muslim family, they can marry with a maximum of 4 women while the wife doesn’t have the right of divorce and unable to challenge their husband. The husband is able to use violence on their wife if they do something wrong. However, compare to Buddhism, Muslim has more data that I could use for the proposal and the inequalities between men and women, which means the quantity of data can be very rich and might make the proposal looks fantastic with these contents.

The weakness of this possibilities is it might receive some bad reflection from the people who are religious at Muslim or even will become a rebellion if the proposal includes some sensitive information. Also, Muslim still has lots of faith that are positive and provide some good creed to the society. So consider the safety and efficiency, the proposal with Muslim is quiet risky at the moment.

Brainstorm 3: View of life


We also discuss the possibilities about reflecting the quality of living of women in Australia by developing a Data map. The data will base on several data about women, includes the income, levels of education, type of work etc. In Australia, domestic violence is one of common problem in the society, especially married women. Even the government established shelters for women to escape from domestic violence, the rate of domestic violence is still very high. However, these possibilities have a great potential to reflect the equality of men and women straightly by display the data of situation of women. Also, it can guide the audience to be aware effectively about the bias of women in the society , especially for women that help them to protect their authority and benefit.

On the other hand, the possibilities need to consider carefully about data chosen because most of the relevant data would be very board that might involve some unnecessary data while can not provide specific information to reader. Also, to simplify the possibilities with this idea is quite a challenge in content selection and visual design response.


ABC News, 2016, Fact file: Domestic violence in Australia, viewed 19 September 2016, <http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-06/fact-file-domestic-violence-statistics/7147938&gt;.

Skwirk, Women in Australia now, viewed 19 September 2016, <http://www.skwirk.com/p-c_s-14_u-109_t-290_c-975/women-in-australia-now/nsw/women-in-australia-now/changing-rights-and-freedoms-women/women&gt;.

POST 8: Brainstorming possibilities for a design response

During week 6 class excise, we are doing own statement in the group, my problem statement is refugees education, other group numbers statement are refugees job, racist towards refugees and find out serves and available to help with their settlement in Australia. My own personal problem statement read is now they are lots of refugee children lost their education in the Australia due to they are unaccompanied.


Unaccompanied refugee children who arrive in Australia


Due to refugee children and their family members were detained in remote in immigration detention centres, some for months or years. Most of these children had arrived by boat and were seeking asylum in Australia.


Prior to 2005 and until now





This group refugee children are detained at high risk of serious mental harm, and and that long-term detention significantly undermines a child’s ability to enjoy a range of human rights, including the right to education and the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. Education is very important for every one, refugee children get education can help them have skills to found jobs in the future, also education can let them understand what they have learn basic information of they life.

Five summary:

Design a poster, which can help people understand why education is important to refugee children.

A short animation or video, it can be a advertisement used share refugee children information.

A website that people can donate online to help refugee children get help.

A social networking, its free lesson online, people use it to tech refugee children online.

A app, same with social networking.

Post 9: Visual documentation of the brainstorming​ session

Written by Meiying Lin

In week 6’s class, we also did some brainstorming exercise with our usual groups. We helped each other to explore our own issue topic and gave feedback to each other’s ideas about the possible proposals.

We began with clarifying the problem within our issues topic in 5 simple questions:

Who does the problem affect?
What are the boundaries of the problem?
When does the problem occur? When does it need to be fixed?
Where does the problem occur?
Why is this issue important?

Brainstorming for 5W

This exercise helped me to clean up and break down the existed problems and actors involved in my issue topic. My group mates are very helpful as well, they gave me lots of valuable opinions and feedback about my ideas.

After that we analysed our problems, we started to note down a few possible proposals for our issue topic.

Brainstorming on Possible Proposals

The strengths of this group brainstorming exercises are we can get feedback from each other which can help to develop our own issue topic deeper and pushed it further. As we were working on a different aspect of the obesity and healthy living, everyone had different opinions and ideas on different issues and the way of problem-solving, it is interesting to hear different ideas and opinions, and gain different feedback.

The weakness of this process is we only have a very limited time. In order to let everyone share their ideas and gain enough feedback, we have to present our ideas and give feedback as fast as possible, which make the whole class extremely rushed. Moreover, as we were all studied on a different aspect of obesity and healthy living, it is possible that we don’t fully understand each other’s ideas and not able to give them an appropriable or a collect feedback.

Overall, this session is quite helpful at this stage. It really refreshed my mind and pushed me a little bit forward.

post nine: brainstorming session

by zena dakkak
14222301_1779357662340142_8946789036485717954_n.jpgCollaborative mapping session


In our groups, we had 10 minutes to describe our possible design proposals and receive feedback. From there we would map and brain storm any ideas that surfaced or was triggered. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt throughout any process, there will always be strengths and weaknesses. This also applies to brainstorming sessions and collaborative work.


  • it was beneficial having multiple views about an issue or response. It allowed us to generate ideas and possible solutions for our projects that we could all use from
  • brainstorming sessions lead into discussions and could lead your idea onto a different, creating better and bigger ideas


  • we all had very similar ideas, which made it harder to produce different ideas for each person
  • the process was very repetitive due to the similarity of our chosen issue + ideas
  • we spent a great amount of time discussing an outcome rather than starting from the beginning of the process

Understanding the connections: gender equality is deeply rooted in everything.

Whilst I was absent for the group mapping session, I was able to gain insights from other class members filling me in, and recreating the maps they made together in class. The thing that struck me the most was the general ease in mapping and making connections in comparison to the first mapping task. It pointed out the huge gap in knowledge that has been filled through collaborative research and discussion, and it was much easier to gain an understanding of how different people play roles within the issue.


(Meacock 2016)

The first map is the stakeholder’s within the issue. The previous stakeholder’s map was reasonably difficult to fill the space and was all over the place and unorganized. With the additional knowledge it was easy to break down the stakeholders into succinct subcategories that covered all areas. The biggest difference I can point out in the ‘human’ section is that categories and sections have become un-gendered. The last stakeholder map pulled apart men and women and the stereotypical differences between who would effect them, however this version manages to cover all bases without gendering. I think there is accuracy with how large the media section is and I feel as though media plays an enormous role as it infiltrates information to the public. I found the coverage of video games particularly interesting as there are such a large amount of extremely sexist video games –as the times stated; “In some games, you can even have your character pay a woman for sex and then kill her, if you are so inclined.” (Sifferlin 2016) This is having a huge impact on players, particularly young men – “They found that boys who played the games containing sexism and violence were more likely to identify with the character they were playing. They also reported less empathy toward the images of female victims.” (Sifferlin 2016) I previously hadn’t considered video games as a part of the media; but was incredibly intrigued to find out more and absolutely appalled when I did. Whilst it is only a game, what kind of messages are we sending – particularly as a huge sector of players are young boys! (Sorry for the tangent…)


(Meacock 2016)

The second map was considering the controversies, emotions and motives. I found this mapping process particularly helpful to step inside the shoes of someone else and completely unpick and understand their perspective. I think it’s important to question and try to understand different perspectives of the issue (i.e. not identifying publically as a feminist) in order to induce change around the issue (i.e. making it a comfortable experience to identify as a feminist and cleansing the stigma that comes with it).


(Meacock 2016)

The third map explored the connections between human and non human stakeholders within “reluctance to identify with the term feminism.” This map proved how far my knowledge has come within the topic as there is no way I would’ve been able to identify and connect the stakeholders in an in-depth way like this. Whilst this map could be extended on (and probably go forever) I think it was a really valuable learning curve in that it made me realized that each issue and each approach to change will not only effect the intended audience, but will have a knock on effect to several other human and non-human stakeholders that may not be immediately obvious.


(Meacock 2016)

The final map is an exploration of a particular non-human element exploring the different issues and challenges, capacities, associates, politics, value alignment and hierarchies associated with this element. This map focuses on clothing and by breaking it down into these categories, we were able to understand all the different aspects and influences it has on the issue within society. We covered how traditions and gender norms influence a way of thinking about clothing; and how this infiltrates into common situations and effects how people are viewed. We also covered the influences of religion, individualism and freedom of choice. The most interesting topic unveiled was the ‘excuse’ of sexual assault being provoked by a woman’s representation of herself. With the treatment of peers and social media (due to the ways of thinking in society) it doesn’t really seem surprising that defenders of sex offenders see it as justifiable to blame a woman’s attire as inviting or ‘asking for it’. This is in dire need of change, and whilst it has started to; it is crucial that we remove stigmas and stereotypes and reinforce that; no matter what someone’s wearing it is not okay to sexually assault someone – ever.


This mapping exercise has underlined that this issue is massive, with so many connecting elements and influencing factors. In order to truly achieve gender equality, empowerment of both sexes, and freedom of individuality there needs to be a collective shift and a large community involvement as there are so many intrinsic connections and knock on effects to seemingly unrelated areas.


Meacock, L. 2016, Mapping Exercises, University of Technology Sydney, .

Sifferlin, A. 2016, Here’s What Sexist Video Games Do to Boys’ Brains, Time, viewed 7 September 2016, <http://time.com/4290455/heres-what-sexist-video-games-do-to-boys-brains/>.

Post 7 — Mapping

Words commonly used in conversations about asylum seekers
Stakeholders map 2

Over the course of this subject, there has been a strong emphasis on the idea of collaboration and knowledge sharing, particularly during class tasks. This week, within our groups, we revisited the stakeholders mind maps created in week 2 and saw it extend into the different avenues that we have been researching individually. We used the week 2 mind map as a foundation to build on, addressing the primary actants who possess the power to mobilise change. These groups included Government, the media, asylum seekers, the Australian public and personal beliefs/values.

We built on these core stakeholders to establish human and non human secondary actors involved in this network but instead act as intermediaries, with a less direct impact. My input focused on the media and information that is/isn’t presented to the public as I have been interested in how attitudes are formed and/or changed.

media_linkThe media is one of the biggest mobilisers for change as they are at the core of this network, providing the public with information (who then vote in a political party who deliver policies to confront an issue). Mainstream media sources have been know to be dominated by media moguls, such as Rupert Murdoch, the late Kerry Packer and Kerry Stokes. However, independent youth media outlets such as Pedestrian and Junkee have seen an increase in popularity amongst Australia’s young adults. Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter also play a large role in granting exposure to these smaller news sources, as well as give an individual a platform for them to express their thoughts and opinions. We also looked at online anonymity as it is an interesting example of a non-humanistic actant that influences what a person might write.

Censorship is an conceptual actant that has a great potential to change attitudes and thus, how the issue is handled. As perspectives are formed by the information exposed to us combined with personal beliefs and values, censored information suppress a holistic context, preventing us from fully comprehend the issue, thus skewing our perspectives. Within this group we listed secondary actants, such as echo chambers, photography ban in detention centres, the ‘truth’, Border Force Act, violence, deaths and boat numbers. I found it interesting how different authorities censor information to sway attitudes in different directions. Recently, the Australian Government introduced the Border Force Act, which essentially prevents detention centre staff members from disclosing information about human rights abuses (Bradley, M., 2015) . However, in Sweden, many crimes committed by refugees, such as the stabbing of a 22 year old social worker at a refugee centre, have been concealed (Miller, M., 2016).

From these mind maps, I was also given an insight into the research of my peers. One of the group members had been looking into how Australia and their asylum seeker policies are perceived by other counties. The map illustrates how this issue extends into an international network of relations as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia affect combined efforts and the negotiations of ‘solutions’. International bodies, such as the United Nations are also stakeholders on an intermediary level; acting as an regulator of International Law. Australia has received criticisms from this organisation, as well as from other nations, however, this does not seem to to have a direct influence on the resolving the issue.


We also examined different polemics that have generated from this issue. We mapped the stakeholders involved in these conflicting perspectives and the emotions/attitudes they may have. Our first polemic example exists between the Australian Governments and refugee activists. These may include people such as the Malcom Turnbull, the LNP, Pauline Hanson, Julia Bishop, Peter Dutton and John Howard against human rights lawyers, academics, #LetThemStay protestors, the Greens, asylum seeker resource centres, Muslims, volunteers and resettled refugees.


From identifying individual actors and conflicting perspectives in the polemic maps, it was reinforced that one single solution cannot satisfy the concerns of all the effected stakeholders. However, this task made me consider that perhaps instead of trying to find a ‘solution’, it would be more constructive to understand the emotions and attitudes that emanate from the polemics. These conceptual actants could potentially lead to some interesting metaphoric visualisations of emotive data.


Bradley, M, 2015. Border Force Act: why do we need these laws?. ABC, 16 July 2015.

Miller, M, 2016. Swedish asylum worker Alexandra Mezher stabbed to death at refugee centre. Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January 2016.


Post 7 – Issue Mapping

Co-creation has always been a slightly terrifying concept. However, it is also sometimes a relief. This post will explore my experience with co-creation in mapping controversies and actor profiles, in the data privacy sector.

The first task to work through was yet another mapping exercise around data privacy and its stakeholders. Except this time, in pairs. While this was an easy enough task to complete, both of us had slightly different understandings of what we were to do. With our previous individual and group maps by our sides, my partner was just recreating it with the same stakeholders, while I was trying to be more specific. Who exactly interacts with data and online privacy, and what specific parties are affected by all its facets. Part of this process was helpful as it provided me with a different perspective on the issue and those involved, but the other part of it was also difficult as no two people think alike, so instructions got lost in the mix.

Remapping the stakeholders

The next task was to map the controversies surrounding the topic of data and privacy. This task was a better use of the co-creation as it really explored many different facets of the topic. While my research was looking into ownership and the internet of things, my partner’s research was delving into personal data, especially with regards to mobile applications. Therefore, many different specific issues were being covered, and the controversies–or polemic–map could be all inclusive. What worked the best here was just writing it down on the paper. What do they feel? What do they feel that way? What would the opposite side of this polemic feel and why? A confirmation that is was relevant to the topic was often stated, however the process just called for as many controversies as were possible. This ‘no-judgement’ policy was accepted throughout the tasks.

Polemic map

Following the polemic map, the co-creation took on a more hands-on approach with the mapping of a particular polemic. ‘Ownership’ was the chosen polemic, as it had more possibilities in terms of where it lied in context, and who it affected. This stage of the co-creation workshop proved to be a little difficult. It was excellent to have another person’s ideas and train of thought, however, like earlier, we had slightly different notions on what was to be mapped. A conclusion was made here that even though it was a ‘co-creation’ task, someone needed to take the lead to keep the thoughts flowing, and pens moving. So while I took charge over the task, the ‘no-judgement’ policy was still in effect. However, the process of mapping the stakeholders, emotions and motivations to a specific polemic assisted in the development of a facet of data privacy. In other words, it helped develop an understanding of a specific situation.

‘Ownership’ polemic map

The next stage brought in another couple, building the co-creation group. While this initially seemed like a worse outcome giving the slight problems of just being in a couple, it actually proved to be easier. The conclusion early on was that the more hands (or brains) the more possibilities that can be created. And in terms of the task itself, it was enlightening to think of all the actors that play a role, or are affected in the data privacy sphere. Selecting the polemic of ‘ownership’, the task was to categorise all the actors present in the issue in terms of objects, emotions, representations, identities and other groups. What was interesting with this process was that it was thinking about the same human and non-human stakeholders, but going beyond what they are and looking at what they do. As Rogers, Sánchez-Querubín and Kil explore in ‘Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe’, controversies should be taken as the starting point, and from there the focus is on the struggle, the action and the movement (p. 16). In other words, going beyond just what the stakeholders are, and looking at how they affect or are effected by particular polemics. It was also interesting to think of this map as a connection between human and non-human actors. As Rogers, Sánchez-Querubín and Kil pharaphrases Latour, ‘map not just human-to-human connections or object-to-object ones, but the zigzag from one to the other.’ (p.17). And that is where the interesting lies.

‘Ownership’ actors map


The following and final task further expands on the actors’ map, however more puts us (the researcher) in the shoes of an actor. The task: to choose an actor, and portray them through certain characteristics. Who do they associate with? What are they responsible for? Whose values do they align with? This exercise certainly put you in the shoes of the actor you choose, mine being the hacktivist group Anonymous. While I had some idea of who they were and what they did, having the platform of co-creation helped develop a good character for Anonymous, and discover things that generally wouldn’t have been common thought such as their feelings, communications and motivations. Below is the collection of all actors mapped out in our group.

Specific actors maps

The particular section on social mapping in the ‘Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe’ reading also assisted in understanding this task. It was the paragraph about the two types of actors: the intermediator who is predictable and doesn’t transform anything, and the mediator, whose outcome is unpredictable and includes transformation, distortion or translations of meaning and elements. Such things as hardware can generally be called an intermediator, but change something about it, or alter its state, and it can become a mediator. This is known as an ‘action to create change’. In terms of data and privacy, as well as ownership, this action could be that further education is needed in to the issue. This could be in the form of a poster or flyer, or even an additional screen before application logins that explicitly asks whether you want to be tracked or not. It could be an opt-out form that allows you to no donate data you don’t want to. The action to create change could be as simple as a login screen or a blocking product, or as complicated as a system or service that acts as a data trust to protect your data that you ultimately create. The possibilities could be endless.



Rogers, R., Sánchez-Querubín, N. & Kil, A. 2015, Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe, Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam.

Following the completion of this class and mapping exercises, I wanted to go back and try some of these tasks again. Further along in the process, my focus in data and privacy was becoming a little clouded, so I used these tasks to bring myself back into focus. Below are image of those efforts.

Remapping the stakeholders
Remapping the stakeholders
Remapping the stakeholders
Remapping the stakeholders

POST 7: Collaborative Issue mapping

-Maria Yanovsky 2016

Throughout university working within a group can seem like a daunting task. However for the purposes of research co creation and collaboration have served some relatively good purposes in creating a broader understanding and enriching discourse of research topics.

(Homelessness and Exclusion Group Brainstorms, 2016)

The maps above were a part of our word association exercises. As a group we were able to fill two long study tables full of descriptive words that as a group of five, triggered ideas about homelessness. Gave the group a variety of choice when it was time to pick a set of 25 words. Working collaboratively here was useful in understanding the formation of language and bounce ideas off each other.

When visualised, this exercise is a chilling representation of how prevalent negativity is within our understanding of homelessness. Even in the flipped version that we did, there were still a large portion of negative words we associated with homelessness. (Yanovsky.M, 2016)

A Key insight that came from that exercise is the initial demonstration of how, even as researchers our collective word associations were predominantly negative. This may have to do with the fact that it is difficult to find a positive angle to talk about a negative topic. Yet, at this stage, I feel its almost hilariously contradictive that we are critiquing the prevalence of stigma, yet we are still so heavily angled at negative perceptions. Negativity perpetuates stereotypes and stigma. It may be useful, to start mapping from the angle of a homeless person and try to put myself into the shoes of anyone of the categories within the homeless umbrella.


Mobile Phone actors Map, this was done from the perspective of one person, and comparing it to the other maps posted in this blog, it is rather empty and bleak. This picture is a good demonstration of why working collaboratively in a group is beneficial (Homelessness and Exclusion Group Brainstorm, 2016).
Controversies issue map work in progress.
Re-Done controversies map, done for the sole purpose of re-familiarising ourselves with the initial brainstormed ideas and so we could add some more with a fresh mind. (Homelessness and Social Exclusion Group Brainstorm, 2016)
New Doc
Re-worked actors map that aimed to explore the terminology and labelling used to stigmatise members of the homeless community. (Homelessness and Social Exclusion Group Brainstorm, 2016)

Collaborative issue Mapping creates a broad spectrum of ideas that maybe overlooked if the task was undertaken by one individual. Looking back at the controversies map, as a group we decided that we as a group would focus on an aspect of homelessness that as individuals we would have overlooked. This being, the location of where homeless people sleep. Different research and perspectives created a more in-depth conversation of an expanded topic and enriched our understanding of the basic foundations of our issue.

Collaborative issue mapping also helps shed light on the “hottest topics”. For example, as a result of our mapping exercises which included word association exercises and the controversies map as a collaborative team we worked out there was a gravitation towards keywords that were used as labels for the homeless community. This demonstrated, through further mapping that collectively we all had an interest in the stigmatisation of homeless people indicating its popularity and resonance within a small body of researches.

Working collaboratively in a group helps fill the gaps in mapping exercises. This creates a detailed and rich contribution to discourse as the entire issue is explored from multiple angles. Within each mapping exercise there were degrees of knowledge each participant brought to the table. However as a collaborative group, we were able to fill in the cracks and generate a greater collected understanding which would have taken a lot more individual research to come to a conclusion to. Another intriguing aspect to compel this, is that these gaps generated heated discourse where contrasting view points came to the foreground. This was especially handy within the Controversy map exercise where we needed multiple clashing viewpoints.

However, one thing I did notice from collaborative mapping is that emotions, and perceptions can herd together like a flock of sheep. I found that in my own time, away from the raw, discussion based spaces, I was able to employ the findings from group exercises and create maps that are more tailored to personality and sense of humour.14466874_10157436051740332_1582625042_o

(Yanovsky.M, 2016)

As a result I made a playful illustrative map of some of the non human, object based actors, that stand out to me when thinking about homelessness. This was a lot more fun, then just thinking about words and text, and a quick little exercise of visual representation.

Post 7: Collaborative Issue Mapping – What We Thought Is Serious

Written by Meiying Lin

Within week five class, I am glad to have an opportunity to work with Lia, Julie and Susan again to undertake the collaborative issue mapping exercise in order to develop and push forward our own issue topic. According to tutor’s instruction, we did two issue maps individually, after we finished our own maps, we gave each other feedback and help to develop each others map. I gain plenty of interesting ideas and research during this exercise. It was a valuable and helpful experience as we were all working on a different aspect in obesity and healthy living.

Within this project, I would like to focus fast food branding and advertising. My group mates helped me to expand my maps specifically. Such as a few possible emotions and movements. The map below has displayed the actors involved in the fast food industry, and a few possible activities/movement and emotions of the actors.

Map One: Actors

As you can see, obesity and healthy living are a big issue that involves various groups of people even we break down to a specific area. Beyond that, there is a strong connection between a different group of actors. For instance creator such as designers, advertisement writers and photographers play an important role in expanding the fast food industry. They help to create eye-catching advertisements for fast food companies to influence the individual’s eating habits.

Base on the actor map, I create another map to clarify the controversy of my issue.

Map Two: Controversy

There are lots of controversy within my issue. The most important issue is the boundary between healthy and unhealthy fast food is unclear. According to Julie’s opinion, she thought Subway is a healthy fast food company because the consumer can choose to add lots of veggies. However, Subway also provides various cheeses and sauces which make their food unhealthy. These have made lots of consumers confused. On the other hand, Susan mentions that the label on the food package and food advertisement also make consumer confused. I believed we all familiar with the word such as ‘organic’, ‘healthy choice’ and ‘sugar-free’, however, are they really that healthy? McDonald said they are ‘healthy choice’; Coca-Cola said their products are ‘sugar-free’… I think it is a question that needs to be answered.

In conclusion, I really happy with my final maps. My group mates have been really helpful within this exercise because we were researching different aspect in obesity and healthy living. There are lots of connections between our research which really opened my mind and helped to develop my maps and my final proposal.

For my final proposal, I would like to promote the healthy fast food industry. Firstly, I need to clarify the boundary between healthy fast food and unhealthy fast food. Secondly, it would be nice to help improve a few existed healthy fast food brandings such as their packaging and/or advertising. Thirdly, I would like to promote the healthy fast food on social media platforms such as on Facebook and Instagram.

Post 7: Issue mapping of mental health

By Yu Zhang

In week 3, we briefly did the mapping exercises of stakeholders that engage with mental health, the keywords and categories were still very broad. So in week 4, we tried to collect any of words that’s relate to mental health and used it to develop a map. The map shows lots of contents that’s more specific than the week 3 mapping exercises, and most of words are able to use it in social media to collect useful information about mental health.




During the process, all of our group was voted 5 words that you might use it to research for mental health, and the most popular words includes ‘exhausted’, ‘invisible’,’victim’, ‘judgement’ etc.. Most of the words are relate to emotion and negative behavior and quite popular in social network, which is easy to search the sources from internet.


After that, our group decided to use the chosen 5 words to extend it with different words to make it more specific. During the process, I found it individuals, media, and society suits all of 5 words, which means these words can be the top of category of mental health. However, even some of words are not relevant to some chosen words, but they might relate to word from the category of chosen words. The map is more like a connection system that contacts each other to engage with mental health, which is a huge data if collect them all.

Overall, I think this mapping exercise is really useful. I achieved lots of words that can use for research the issue in different platforms, understand further about mental illness and how to classify words to develop an information system. I can reread this map anytime if I get stuck to research and write a blog, which is really useful and convenient.


In week 5, the mapping exercise requires us to be even more specific. Firstly, our group design to base on ‘Lack of knowledge’ to start mapping. During the discussion of our group, knowledge is related to different fields of mental health, includes medicare, policies, and social media. It might have a potential to provide a map with more depth and clear content that can help our visual design responses individually. The exercise is very intensive during the process, but it’s very useful for me after we developed the map because I have deep understood of the filed of lack of knowledge in mental health.


We also start mapping that involves to controversy. Basically, the main focus of our mapping is history and communication. For example, Past VS Present, Religion VS Culture and Social Status VS Economic Situation. During the discuss, our group considers the issue of mental health is the conflict between economic benefit and humanities progress. I found that the conflict is suitable for most of the controversy of mental health, and that’s why the direction of mapping focused on Needs VS Wants, which can discover that desire is the root to promote the current situation of mental health. It’s very useful for me after developed this map, it guides me to have more hints for my inspiration and understanding of the issue.


Base on what we found from the previous mapping exercises, our group decided to develop further on the controversy of Needs VS Wants. It felt like most of the elements that we found are back to the original mapping exercises. For example, education, family, and media also appear in the first mapping exercises. It looks like the content of mental health is more like a network that all of the content will extend to the beginning. That make me understand that the depth of content for mental health does not exist because the content lives around our life, which means no matter how to refine the content to be more specific, it will still guide you back to the first content that you extend.IMG_2248.JPG

I choose ‘Sexual Assault’ as the actor to develop this map. The reason I choose it because this actor can specifically relate to my first three positions, which are awareness, fear, and external factors. Also, it can involve lots of human and non-human stakeholders, includes family, pressure,equality, individual etc. Also, all of these stakeholders are able to connect to each other that might develop a specific proposition for mental health. However, this actor faces a specific crowd, which is women. I believe narrow down the actor to be more specific, I would have a clear idea of the draft proposal and visual style of the design response.


The issue mapping exercises are really intensive but help me to understand much further about mental health. It’s very good to share different opinions in a group that give me a chance to collect the data and communicate the issue with group members. Also, it helps me to achieve different opinions about the issue from group members in the discussion, that’s why I like the process of conversation during develop the maps. I was worry about the depth of content might affect the quality of my design concept, but after the exercises, I understand the issue is more like a net that you just need to choose which position you want to express. Also, the functions of mapping are what I achieved from this workshop, especially mapping with controversy can provide a comprehensive content as the result and able to discover the root of issue. I think this function is very useful for research most of issue, but users need to pick and arrange the sources carefully because the quantity of content from issue mapping is a lot. How to choose the suitable sources and reflect it on graphic style is what I need to consider further. On the other hand, I can use the mapping functions to gain more elements when I get stuck. However, it’s always good to have more sources that I might work on for the theme of issue. I will consider developing a map that base on one theme to develop it further instead of just start mapping the issue because the result come out will be more specific instead of too broad. Also, I will consider developing the map that involves controversy and actors with questions that can gain further information and connection in different but relevant areas in the future.

POST 7: Issue Mapping // Mental Health



This whole subject has been all about mapping. Even though I find mapping a tedious and boring task, it has been quite helpful in sorting out the various stakeholders involved within the issue of mental health. Since our first mapping exercise in week 3, my group and I have created about 6 different iterations. These various maps have given me a broader view of the issue and I have also gained further insights through our group discussions in class.

Collaboratively mapping with my group members has been an interesting experience as we have all been focusing in on a different area within the issue of mental health such as stigma, borderline and genetics. With all our different perspectives and knowledge, we have created a series of maps rich with insights and discussions. It is also interesting to see how other group members topics link to mine own about stigma and how I can use their research for my own topic.

Week 3 // Stakeholder Map 

As I have already explained in POST 3, the process of mapping participants in relation to mental health has been enlightening and gave me a clearer idea of who are involved and why. This first map is quite general and basically outline stakeholders such as the government, media and health professionals.

Week 3 // First stakeholder map.

Week 3 // Revised Stakeholder Map

I further refined our stakeholder map digitally and fleshed out our colour coding system to differentiate the stakeholders involved and the sentiments towards them: organisations, human, education, actions and obstacles. I was then able to make connections between the various stakeholders which helped specify more issues within mental health.

Week 3 // Revised stakeholder map with colour code system.

Week 4 // Word Association

For this exercise, my group and I brainstormed words associated with mental health. It was interesting to compare the words that each group member brainstormed. There were some words that doubled up such as stigma and ignorance which demonstrated generalisations and main problems within the issue. On the opposite side of each word card, we also had to write an antonym which was quite difficult for some words. What I found most interesting was the emotive words that we came up with as I hadn’t taken emotions into consideration with my own word list. Describing the feelings felt by people affected my mental health issues allows us to empathise with them and understand the issue better.

Week 4 // Words about mental health.

The next stage was selecting paired words to arrange 20 of our mental health words onto a scale. We selected positive and negative as our scale. It was interesting to see the scale once we flipped with words over to reveal the antonyms as it was the exact reverse.

positive negative
Week 4 // Comparison of positive and negative scales.

After we generated all these words, arranged them and voted on the best ones, we moved onto creating (yep you guessed it) another stakeholder map. This map was based around three words that we selected which were uncertainty, ignorance and future. This helped connect the word associations to the players involved in the issue and further fleshed out our understanding of who is involved and why.

Week 4 // Oh another map! This one is based on three of our brainstormed words.


So at this point, we have created about 3 maps on stakeholders and word associations that raised discussions and ideas about mental health. It was no surprise to me then that in Week 5 we were asked to draw up more maps – yay.

Week 5 // Lack of Knowledge Map

In the first map, we took one aspect of our issue which was lack of knowledge and brainstormed about connected areas such as people, history, behaviours and pressures. Some new insights that we brainstormed were biological limitations, preconceived archetypes of mentally ill people, pressures and assumptions and culture. This quick paced exercise was valuable as it opened up some new areas of our issue that we hadn’t considered before.

Week 5 // Brainstorm around lack of knowledge.

Week 5 // Controversies Map

The second map we created in this exercise outlined the controversies and debates within the issue of mental health based on the previous brainstorm. We identified controversies such as biology vs mentality, social status vs situation, needs vs wants and past vs present. It was helpful dividing our issue into these debates as we uncovered new ideas and insights.

Week 5 // Controversies surrounding the issues of mental health.

Week 5 // Needs Vs Wants Map

The third map focused in on one of the controversies from the second map which was Needs vs. Wants. This debate is centred around the mindset of people thinking that mentally ill individuals are just attention seeking which is not the truth. We identified that there needs to be more communication around the issue of mental health and we want to further understand the needs and wants of people affected my mental health issues.

Week 5 // Expansion of the controversy needs vs wants.

Week 5// Nike Map?

In the fourth and final map, we selected a very specific area within our last map. We first selected the broad area of media, then advertising, then consumer goods and finally selected the brand Nike. We were quite confused as to how this related back to the issue of mental health…

Week 5 // Nike map?


As much as hate mind-maps, I will admit that these exercises were helpful in my understanding of my issue. Through the various maps, we explored the different ideas, problems, perspectives and debates associated to mental health. Each group member had insightful and different input into the creation of these maps and through them, I learnt and considered more about my specific topic. It’s amazing how once you get into a discussion, the ideas just flow and the conversation smoothly progresses into deeper ideas and understandings. If i did all these mapping exercises by myself, they wouldn’t even be half the content they are now. Co-mapping with others is invaluable and I love to listen to other people’s views and beliefs.

From these mapping exercises, a possible design led solution/ action for change for the issues within mental health could manifest as an interactive installation outlining the stakeholders involved and emotions experiences. I believe emotions and empathy is a key factor in understanding mental health issues. An engaging design like an installation would make the issue real to the audience.

In terms of the mapping exercises themselves, I found them extremely tedious. I understand it is important to  repeat work, but I believe it was unnecessary in this case. The amount of work on these mapping exercises could have been completed within one tutorial. That being said, it is good to take the time to reflect on ideas. So, I guess I am kind of on the fence for this task; I found it valuable in building my knowledge but the time spent on it was unnecessary. I would have rather spent the time honing in on my own area of mental health whilst still discussing ideas with my group. Overall, mapping has been a positive experience. It has enlightened me on mental health issues and my group’s collaborating skills have improved.

Post Seven: Mapping to create change

Working in pairs groups in the week 5 tutorial workshop, many maps were generated that not only showcased different aspects of the data security/online privacy issue but also looked at the issue in greater depth. Drawing on the maps created in earlier tutorials, these new issue maps were able to incorporate new pieces of information as well as tackle new problems that had arisen.

Task 1 – map A

Data stakeholders map incorporating human and non-human actors

The first map revisited work completed in an earlier tutorial when we mapped out the stakeholders for our overall topics e.g data stakeholders. This updated map however was much more specific and included the human and non-human actors in each sector as well as the beginnings of how these sectors relate to one another. We found that a lot of the stakeholders intertwined with each other and shared many of the same points or human/non-human actors. For example, personal users, hackers, and government agencies made use of the technologies available in the cloud and government agencies often worked alongside hackers to better the online lives of personal users.

Task 2 – map B

Polemics map discussing the controversies surrounding terms and conditions

This polemics map discussed the controversies, debates and disagreements while incorporating the main stakeholders involved. The map highlighted the main actors/stakeholders, where the tensions occurred as well as the emotions and motivations of these main actors. Initially this mapping task appeared relatively simple, but once we began to break down the actors/stakeholders and find the relationships between each one the map became extremely busy. However, we were able to use this map to understand that in the real online world, the actors/stakeholders are always intertwining, merging and changing, so we understood that we were getting more informed on topic as a whole.

Task 3 – map C

Data privacy map discussed through an actor template

This map was created in a group of four and used an actor template to categorise a chosen area of data privacy/online security. The information was categories into the following groups: causes, people, objects, emotions, behaviours, identity, laws/regulations, assistance, networks, representations, politics, emotional climate and barriers. Looking at the issue in this way we were able to really seperate the issue and focus on one small aspect at a time – thus, breaking down the issue further created space for an important academic conversation.

Task 4 – map D

Intelligence agencies mapped against categories to determine their actions in society

The final map followed on from the information explored in map C above but focused on just one actor and mapped that actor against hierarchies, issues/challenges, capacities, associates, politics and value alignments. Choosing intelligence agencies as the main actor, we were able to put ourselves ‘in the mind of an intelligence agency’ as such and understand the purpose of this actor in the data security/online privacy world. Similar to map C, this brought up a new conversation and we discussed the purpose of intelligence agencies and the benefits they have on society.


Working in groups can often prove challenging (be it in the initial stages or throughout the process) but it is only in a group setting that the conversation can develop and ideas begin to be thrown around leading to relevant design ideas. As I had only been really focusing on my research idea alone, it was important to go ‘back to the drawing board’ and listen to the ideas of others. Each member in my group was also researching the same topic but the discussion came from very different perspectives, relative to each person’s individual research idea or area. In this scenario I found it critical to actively listen to each member and ask open ended questions to keep the conversation flowing.

On the surface, all the maps created in this class relate to my project as they all fit directly into the category of data surveillance and online privacy. Delving deeper into my refined idea of spam/scam emails and how users interact with these emails, there is still a relationship between the two but it is not as strongly defined as I would have liked. This is possibly due to the fact that the maps were created in a group setting; not everyone had the same research idea and therefore the conversation was not on one idea alone. The techniques and methods used to create these maps however, can be re-used again on my research idea to investigate the topic in greater depth.

By creating these maps the huge benefit in mapping ideas with the techniques used became clear. They create thought-provoking avenues of conversation within a group setting and by doing this, change can occur through any direction or topic discussed. The maps become the starting point as a regular  mind map does and each map created becomes more and more detailed until design problems and solutions are highlighted and the research aspect of the design process can begin.


Rogers, R., Sánchez-Querubín, N. & Kil, A. 2015, Issue Mapping for an Ageing Europe, OAPEN, Amsterdam.

Header image
Google 2016, Google Maps, viewed 5 September 2016, <https://www.google.com.au/maps&gt;.

By Chloe Schumacher

POST 7: Issue mapping

Co-creating controversy maps was a great way to quickly gain a broad understanding of the topic at hand. Interestingly, although both my partner and I had undertaken prior research on the subject we had both focused on very different areas of online privacy. The task of co-creating these visualisations helped identify nuances within our research and allowed us to come to a more holistic understanding of the topic. In addition to sharing knowledge, it was also interesting to get another student’s opinion on the divisive issue of online privacy. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of online privacy was valuable as it allowed us to identify the variety of arguments that stakeholders have expressed about the issue. With that being said, the actual output of the mapping activity has not been particularly helpful to informing my design approach. Although I found it useful to discuss the issue of online privacy with another student, the maps we created are all but indecipherable. Based on my observation of other group’s maps, this is not a unique problem. I feel as though the way the controversy maps were introduced, coupled with limited time we had to complete them promoted a singular approach; write everything and anything you can about the topic as fast as possible. While this method did create large sprawling visualisations, it discounted a lot of the subtly and nuance that exists within complex problems. An example of this narrow focus is evident in our stakeholder map, which based on our tutor’s direction, focused on individual organisations. I feel a better, albeit more challenging approach would have been to look at broad categories of stakeholders. Doing this would have allowed us to better focus on their interests rather than on their identity, ultimately leading to a deeper understanding of the problem.

Post 7, image 2

This map was generated from earlier stakeholder maps seen in post 3. Building on from that, it looks at the emotions behind each issue and the motivations behind the various stakeholders. Interestingly the word which came up the most was control; governments want control over their population, companies want control over their share price, and users want control of their data.


I found this mapping concept very confusing to wrap my head around and thus did not generate a good outcome. This mind map builds upon the previous exercise, and incorporates stakeholders into the equation in relation to the issue of national security. The main takeout from this activity was that the media is highly influential in people’s perception of state sponsored data surveillance.

Post 7, image 4

This image looks at two actor mind maps we were able to work through. In this case, two actors vehemently opposed to the others actions. This visualisation highlights the motivations of each party, and how their different ideological views inform their actions in regards to online privacy, data surveillance and data security. It was also interesting to look at how they work around the restrictions placed upon them by their environment.

Post 7, image 3

This map shows all the actors; human and non-human associated with the issue of online privacy. This visualisation was more useful than some of the other mind maps as it provided a detailed framework around which to dissect our topic. Of particular interest in this map is the idea that data collected from users is a commodity. This raises interesting questions about how data is used as a new form of currency in the information age.


post seven: collaborative issue mapping

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:
– Survival
– Assumptions
– Alone
– Privacy
– Strangers

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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.

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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.


Collaborative Issue Mapping

Post 7

A collaborative exercise of mapping out the mental health issue was undertaken with four other students focusing on this topic. Maps addressing stakeholders, influences, and the intangible such as ideas, concepts and emotions were also explored. In addition to this, we attempted to hone in on the controversy of stigma around mental health and branch out all the relevant points.

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Reflecting on this collaborative issue mapping exercise, it definitely surpassed my expectations as the ideas discussed and results written down pushed the boundaries of what I would have written if I had done this alone. Even different opinions and discussions through this helped us map out further points. For example, one person didn’t think religion would have an effect on mental health and people going through this, whereas one person in the group explained a first hand experience on mental health and how religion played a part in allowing to ‘open up’ about it. This changed and gave new insights to our group which is a valuable result only possible with conversation and collaboration.

Another exercise which expanded my boundaries in thinking about my design intervention was the mapping of words resonating with the mental health issue.

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Here, my group wrote down all the words that included nouns, adjectives, emotions and ideas which was great to get everything in our minds onto something physical. It was also interesting to see which words reoccured most frequently, and which words others thought of that I hadn’t.

The whole team then went around the tables marking a word which they thought was most important or resonated with them the most and as seen in the images, they included the words:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Preconception
  • Shame

From this exercise, I noticed that the majority were all words with negative connotations such as ‘suicide, panic, stress, problem, incompetent’ where positive words were sparse. This highlighted the serious stigma behind this issue and made me think, “How can we change this so people can connect a more positive and approachable image to the issue?”

In regards to thinking about a possibility for action to create change, a simple yet intriguing point was made during discussion. This point was that people may be less aware, or choose to be less caring of mental health compared to physical health is because it is an ‘invisible illness’ and the idea that humans are more prone to believe what they can see. This idea for me sparked an interest to me as a visual communication designer delving into this mental health issue because as a designer we create from a concept, visually translate a message/meaning that people can SEE and UNDERSTAND – something the mental health issue lacks currently in our worlds. Perhaps this is the opening of an avenue to take my research further.

Written by Helen Chang