Gigamapping is super extensive mapping across multiple layers and scales with the goal of investigating relations between seemingly separate categories, hence providing boundary critiques on the conception and framing of systems.
Gigamapping is part of the Systems Oriented Design framework
Design is facing ever-growing challenges from an increasingly complex world. Making design matter means coping with these challenges and being 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.
SOD is a version of systems thinking and systems practice developed from within design thinking and design practice – that is, it is systems thinking and systems practice tailored by and for designers. It draws from a designerly way of dealing with super-complexity derived from design practices while referring to established perspectives in modern systems thinking, especially soft systems methodology, critical systems thinking, and systems architecting. Further, it is based on design skills such as visual thinking and visualisation in processes and for communication purposes.
Central to SOD is the technique of gigamapping.
The gigamapping process
Myriadic quality and a degree of messiness are typical for the gigamapping process.
A gigamap is characterised by the following:
Designerly construction of a rich picture of a real-life situation
Mixing information types and kinds (e.g., images, graphics, texts, and other media)
Mixing information sources
Myriadic quality, which includes large amounts of information
Crossing scales, from a large to small scale (microscope, telescope, wide-angle views)
Combining and relating categorically different entities
Covering wide fields
Digging into details
Combining, interpolating and criticising systems models
Boundary construction, critique and adjustment
Super Extensive Mapping
Gigamapping is super extensive mapping across many sections, layers and scales with the goal of investigating relations between seemingly separate things, categories, and silos.
Anybody can gigamap
Gigamapping is a design tool, however, anybody can gigamap. It has a very low initial threshold and a lot of depth to learn and progress.
Gigamaps are tools for visual thinking and understanding complex systems.
Gigamaps are process tools and are not meant to communicate outside of the involved stakeholders or owners of the maps.
Co-design & Co-creation
Gigamaps are super for sharing views, getting teams on the same page and for co-design and co-creation.
Read these pages and start to practice or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Giga-Mapping: Visualisation for complexity and systems thinking in design by Birger Sevaldson was presented at NORDES 2011.