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These exhibits are a departure from pictorial maps. Two site-specific installations (KraalD, Özçetin & Özçetin) mapped systems so they could be experienced from multiple points of view. The third, an experiment in art-science collaboration (Berry-Firth), resulted in richly rendered systemic representations of scientific findings. Also presented is the inventory of graphical devices and an opportunity to consider notations in multi-media mapping (Stoyko).

Presenters

Katarina-Dimitrijevic aka KraalD | Plastic Entanglement—A visual narrative with single-use plastics

Seda Özçetin and Şeyda Özçetin | Mapping a ToSsphere: Actors and relations that constitute complex policy ecosystems

Joanne Berry-Frith | Art-Science Collaboration Framework: Play as a concept

Peter Stoyko | Anatomy of System Notations: A comprehensive inventory of graphical devices

Commenter

Sally Sutherland | University of Brighton

Host

Thomas Maiorana  | tmaiorana@ucdavis.edu

Sally Sutherland’s comments

Highlights from edited transcript

There are so many fascinating overlaps there. And really significant differences. The first three projects present more than rational methodological approaches to explore and understand different contexts, which I really, really enjoyed. And that’s quite different from a lot of traditional or standard approaches in systemic design. All the projects demonstrate the way that design research can zoom in and out. Taking that in an unmapping context, they can move around and be viewed from lots of different angles. They’re all incredibly beautiful, but I’m curious about the way that the more than visual ways were used—when the audio became involved or video … the gestures or the conversations or this kind of interaction and the overlaps in Joe’s videos that I’d be really curious to see more of, and, and the kind of movement of the paper and the trees and this kind of the way that you can kind of really touch or connect.

Play felt like it was an incredibly fundamental part of all the projects. I know for me plays really important in my own practice-based research, and especially in COVID, I didn’t have a chance to play, and I found that incredibly difficult. And it really, really restricted my own practice. So it’d be great to know a bit more about how we can better value play within systemic design. And how important that is to all of you. Because it did feel like that really tied all of the work together.

Note: This recording includes the speakers’ names and presentations (there is a short segment of introductory music). The presentation decks are below and maps and their briefs can be accessed via their articles. To see the papers and read the briefs, see the Unmapped articles.

My collaborators had never worked with an artist before and were curious about its impact. There was a perceived perceived lack of awareness by scientists at play and playfulness as a productive activity within this professional scientific laboratory. Yet I noted how playfulness came through, as scientists and artists adopted into the bliss and interdisciplinary methods of working. Role playing and swapping roles performing my duties as pseudo scientists liberated this investigation, beyond one way of understanding science, I adopted the role of scientists shadowing and copying my colleagues practices.—Joanne Berry Frith, Art-Science Collaboration Framework

Presentations

Mapping Mondays: Unmapped summary

AI-generated, human-edited by Cheryl May

Mapping plastic pollution and its impact on nature. 0:01

Katarina Dimitrijevic from Loughborough University UK discusses her RSD12 installation, which explores the entanglement of plastic and nature through a prosumer installation that mediates material relations.

The installation visually critiques plastic pollution in nature and promotes behaviour change through design with single-use packaging, and reuse activities.

Katarina discusses her art and design practice, which involves transforming plastic waste into aesthetic responses to slow environmental violence, including plastic pollution and mismanaged plastic waste.

Through her interdisciplinary approach, which combines scientific engagement, design, and research, she aims to foster novel waste relations and raise awareness of plastic pollution. She focuses on the ontological design process of making with single-use plastics and creating aesthetic responses.

Mapping Terms of Service policies. 9:55

Seda Özçetin is a PhD student, and this research considers design alternatives for Terms of Service.

She maps to understand relationships between policies and actors in a complex ecosystem.

Interdisciplinary art-science collaboration. 16:13

Joanne Berry-Frith discusses her collaboration with life scientists, using laser technology and contributing to scientific research projects.

In a case study at the Centre of Cellular Imaging in Sweden, she explored the value of play and playfulness in scientific experimentation with four researchers, expanding her knowledge of advanced imaging and microscopic systems.

The project explores skin research through role-playing, image analysis, and creative data manipulation.

The research incorporated playful elements, archive data, and unpredictable sounds in lab research.

Visualising systems with graphic devices. 25:49

Peter Stoyko discusses System Vis and his goal of improving system visualisation.

He has analysed hundreds of system notations and identified highly standard or novel graphical devices for mapping techniques.

Peter explains how graphic devices can be used to represent complex information using sailing-themed metaphors.

Peter presents the poster for visualising complex networks, highlighting various graphic techniques for representing relationships between entities.

Design research methods and visual representation. 34:46

Sally Sutherland highlights the unique approach of the projects, which combine visual and audio elements to explore and understand different contexts.

She expresses her appreciation and curiosity about using more than visual elements, such as audio and video, to mediate relationships and knowledge-making between researchers and non-expert audiences.

There is a discussion about playfulness in design, connecting it to nature and feminist perspectives, while Speaker 1 highlights the need for embodied wisdom in systemic design processes.

Seda reflects on their experience mapping in a 2D environment, feeling stressed about accuracy and shifting to a more intuitive and artistic approach in a forest setting.

(un)mapping information involves:

  • Being selective, visualising, and reinterpreting data in an unconventional way.
  • Exploring mapping and unmapping practices, including waste management, to tackle complex global issues.
  • Collaboration between scientists and artists is transdisciplinary, leading to mutual respect and learning through a shared understanding of image interpretation.

Marie Davidová expresses support for extending mapping practices to physical and multi-sensory formats and encourages researchers to extend their practice.

Acknowledgements

Cheryl May:

Thanks to everyone who joined today and the presenters for unmapping our thinking. Also, financial supporters have allowed SDA to meet its goal of hosting online sessions throughout the year.

Acknowledging Systemic Design Association board members in attendance—Marie Davidová and Tom Mairona—for their continuous care for this community and for establishing a systemic design corpus.

Thanks to host Tom Mairona—and Sally Sutherland for comments. You can find Tom on his website prototypingprofessor.com. Sally is part of the Radical Methodologies (RaM) Research and Enterprise Group at Brighton University, and you can find her at sallysutherland.com.

Chat highlights

Katarina: This new materiality becomes the outcome of a visionary aesthetic response and the visual narrative that, through some interdisciplinary scientific engagement as well as data connections, design speculative design and research with open loop reuse, fostering novel waste relations, the nature of relations, or exploring notions of design, research, and nature, raising awareness of slow environmental viruses and plastic pollution.

Goran: Such interesting presentations and approaches towards decomposing the mapping process—and recomposing in different ways to highlight the emergent or underlying systemic design tensions and elements.

Seda, the idea of mapping in the forest is a beautiful one! It resonates with me as I see the need for more embodied wisdom in the systemic design process. Did you find this allowed you to tap into your intuitive, felt, or non-cognitive knowing about the system?

Seda: Definitely. It made us think of the temporalities of nature and its cycles, which are different from 24/7 digital technologies. Feeling the wind, changing sun and light, and made us think of energy sources. The kind of mess we created made us think of our this belonging to that environment and thus reflect on technologies’ impact on nature. So, the question of how to design eco-social contracts that recognise nature’s agency arose.

Angelsea: Question for Jo—what new things did your science colleagues discover in working with you? e.g. new research findings? ways of working/changing a process? 🙂

Jo: there were lots of things. They use a specific language, like art and designers use a specific language, and we had to come up with a way of communicating with each other so that we understood each other. So, there was an obvious need to understand their scientific processes from a layperson’s point of view. So we learnt that when I collaborate with people, it’s just about learning about the science or what they do. It’s about them as people, their lives, you know, their families, what they like to do. I think the one thing that we have in common when I’m working with scientists is that the people I’m working with are interested in imaging, and I’m interested in imaging, and that is the commonality. We have this working knowledge of images from a very different perspective. I think what we learn from each other is how we look, interpret, and view images. And that is the cornerstone for our development, as, you know, as we develop our collaborative relationships with each other, but it is about mutual respect. And it is about learning from each other. And I think that is the common platform.

Jairo: Peter, do you see the SystemViz also as a tool to make systems maps more accessible (understandable) for the general public, or does this go beyond its purpose/scope?

Peter: Yes, that is one of the stated goals of the project. The hope is to invite a more diverse group of people into systemic design conversations, not just technical experts.

Sylvie: I think Peter’s work also ties into the “more than rational” theme that Sally mentioned about the first three because the visual symbols utilised (especially if intuitive by nature) may allow us to tap into different “layers of representations” in our cognitive knowledge, or resonate with instinctive or embodied knowledge. It’s something we can benefit from when viewing a map, even if subconsciously, and also something we can consider when selecting which symbols to use in a map

sketchnote

Sketchnote courtesy of Aditi Shinde. @ditiiee

RSD13 TIMELINE

Final submissions are due on
April 30

Open call for Reviewers
April 1–30

Feedback to authors
June 30

RSD13-ONLINE
sessions OCTOBER 16–18

RSD13-OSLO & Nordmarka Forest October 22–26

Lidar-derived image of the Danube River and floodplain near Tulln, Austria. Daniel Coe. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

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