30th May 2011: A special article, the first of two that will look deeper into GIGA-mapping was published on the NORDES publication system.
GIGA-Mapping: Visualisation for complexity and systems thinking in design
Designers and design is facing ever growing challenges from an increasingly complex world. Making design matter means to cope with these challenges and to be able to enter new important design fields where design can play a crucial role. To achieve this we need to become better at coping with super-complexity. Systems Oriented Design is a new version of systems thinking and systems practice that is developed from within design thinking and design practice. It is systems thinking and systems practice tailored by and for designers. It draws from designerly ways of dealing with super-complexity derived from supreme existing design practices as well as refers to established perspectives in modern systems thinking, especially Soft Systems Methodology, Critical Systems Thinking and Systems Architecting. Further on it is based on design skills like visual thinking and visualisation in processes and for communication purposes. Most central are the emerging techniques of GIGA-mapping. GIGA-mapping is super extensive mapping across multiple layers and scales, investigating relations between seemingly separated categories and so implementing boundary critique to the conception and framing of systems. In this paper we will present the concept of GIGA-mapping and systematize and exemplify its different variations.