In order to get a clearer, more focused idea of the research I will be pursuing over the next two years I have been trying out ways of mapping out my subject area. I started with the kind of maps I’m used to drawing, throwing down keywords and practitioners and drawing links between them, then took this approach onto FreeMind to see if a limitless, easily organised digital map would be more useful to me. It was not.
Then, part way into my mapping, I overheard someone in the studio talking about manifestos and it seemed like an ideal way for me to bring together all my mapping in a way appropriate to my research. As a large part of my project involves defining my priorities and ideology as a designer, and pushing myself to explore new methods and ideas, a manifesto of my personal goals seemed to be in order, and I thought that using this as the base for a mind map would enable me to bring together the personal and research elements of my project.
I drew up my first manifesto on a large studio whiteboard, in order to have room to spread out my map, and found that working on a large scale was simultaneously daunting and a bit liberating. I liked the idea of merging my personal goals and research areas, and moved onto creating a printed manifesto to work around.
This approach was very useful, and working on the whiteboard also allowed me to bring in the (small amount) of visual work I’ve done so far. While my manifesto definitely needs more work (a lot more!) I intend to pursue this approach to mapping further. Researching art and design manifestos has really inspired me about their potential as interesting visual work, and definitely given me a satisfying direction to start from.