Culture is an emerging social phenomenon formed on many levels by shared experiences and personal assumptions. It has profound roots in people’s backgrounds; it entails their beliefs, experiences, world views and beyond. One thing is understanding cultures on a personal level, but another is understanding them in an organizational context.
Making Waves (MW) is a digital design agency with more than 300 employees working on a myriad of design challenges in multiple scales of complexity. This broad body of people inevitably brings a very rich pool of information and experiences into its competencies, as well as opposing points of view and ways of behaving. In turn, these ways of being have an effect on the organization and beyond: from peers to managers and from clients to the created products that people use, the interaction with cultures and values is ubiquitous. As such, it becomes difficult to reflect upon all of its contact points at once. Is it possible to have a glimpse into all of these contact points? What would be the benefits of doing so? What other frameworks can support this approach?
Sweeping Waves is an exploration of these queries in the context of Making Waves Oslo. It is a compilation of tools intended to engage reflective dialogue around the company’s contact layers, and also group, sub group and individual cultures; foster further exchange between the company’s resources and improve spatial organization; and establish a common ground competency around systems thinking and questioning skills. These collectively seek to leverage the company’s diversity to create shared awareness and ultimately help it improve toward its desired goals.
This report briefly covers the process through which I explored and discovered Making Waves as an organization and a complex system. It portrays research process and methods, development and components of the company’s gigamap, insights, and an overview and analisys of the design proposal.