Mapping a process

The methods and processes lecture today was about mapping and diagramming. The talk started with a reference to a paragraph from On Exactitude in Science written by Jorge Luis Borges. In the story cartographers create a map so accurate that they produce at a 1:1 scale, where the map is as big as the world it maps.

We were then shown a series of slides of maps and diagram that designers had used to describe process. My favorite map / diagram was pictogram below. I like it because it tells a story with recognizable symbols, it is hand drawn, and it looks like it is made by or about people.Diagramming_v3-1 I also really like the Dear Data drawings, which also sit in the hand made kind of diagram genre. Below are two diagrams from the series, which map a week of laughter be two artists.


At the end of the session we were invited to map our design process. I found this challenging because my design process not liner, and is messy.

The story of this “process mapping” goes a little something like: 1. there are lots of bits¬† 2. there are some more bits 3. old and new bits join up 4. weird and wonderful things are created when new bits and old bits connect.


I learned a few things from the process of mapping my process. These were:

A. Process is messy

B. I like to approach design though making (I chose to rip out paper rather than draw about the process in my book)

C. Make things with the things you have (paper from book, tape, crappy models)

D. Don’t be lazy and go upstairs to get a pair of scissors (I was being lazy, so I didn’t)

E. It’s ok to make crap things (this model is pretty crappy looking)

F. Make better things (learn from the crappy things, reflect, and make less crappy things)

G. Process is multi-dimensional (also see A.)