Moving on from our ‘Good Start, Bad Start’ workshop, I wanted to employ a technique we learnt in the first year called the ‘lotus blossom technique’. This technique involves taking a basic idea or theme, and expanding on it until you have a huge collection of research points. I personally find this technique much better than a classic mind map as it pushes me to think of more avenues of research when compared to a traditional mind map. From this, I wanted to gain a fully fleshed out idea-space for each theme I planned to look into.
These first two drafts were used as exercises for myself to start thinking creatively and making connections between different themes before I dove straight into the lotus technique. While I was considering what I could look into, I narrowed my interests down into a few stand-out categories.
After creating the lotus maps, I went through the topics I had looked at and used coloured markers to see which areas were of interest to me the most. This gave me a good idea of what to focus on when it came to actually research these topics. For example, in my Ecosystem map, I found that I was more interested in evolution, habitats, psychology and geography, and less interested in conservation, the built environment, biomes and climate change.
Using this technique also helped me to see if my chosen interests were broad enough to be able to deep dive into research, while I have an interest in comedy, there was a limited amount of space I could go with it, and I found that while deconstructing the genre, there wasn’t really any aspects of it that truly caught my attention.
So from this, I had compiled a simple list to reference while researching. The topic, alongside more specific avenues of research that I found interesting and wanted to explore further. Going forward, I used two techniques Adam taught us during an early workshop. These tasks involved taking a subject we were interested in and creating 6 thumbnails for that topic. I then asked others to comment on what they thought the topic was just through visuals. It was interesting to see what others thought about each topic I’d chosen. Another task we were given was to try and list as many questions as we could think of based on the topics we’d chosen. This was to try and give us a starting point in terms of research.
What others thought it meant:
Science x2, Justice x2, genetics, chromosomes, microscope, communication, symbolism, structure, exchange, law and order, Peace, Planet, Global, Economy, Social, Humanity
What others thought it meant:
Stars x3, Space x3, Galaxies x2, Exploration, Alignment, Patterns, NASA, Rockets, Engineering, Signs, Personality, Funding
It’s the third year, we’re back and better than ever!
Before the first workshop with Adam, myself, Samantha and AJ went away and began brainstorming topics of interest using markers to create mindmaps. This was a simple exercise to get us thinking about possible avenues of research and ultimately shake off the summer cobwebs from our pesky little brains.
Using different coloured markers, we set ourselves a time limit of ten minutes and tried to brainstorm as many things as we could that we found interesting. At the end of the ten minutes, we had three different mindmaps. We then swapped over and used our respective coloured markers to underline any topics of interest that we shared or anything that perhaps we had missed out on our own mindmaps that we find interesting.
Good Start, Bad Start
We then had a ‘Good Start, Bad Start‘ workshop with Adam. The aim of this workshop was to generate lots of mindmaps and possible starting points for individual research. In groups, we began to consider whether topics of interest that had been written down had any researchable qualities to them.
This workshop involved lots of mind mapping and rapid idea generation. We used methods from ‘How to have Great Ideas’ by John Ingledew to create large branching mindmaps in six different topics:
What makes you: Laugh, Cry, Angry, Excited, Interested, Intellectually Stimulated?
In a group (Myself, AJ and Samantha) we had to brainstorm six different categories. My personal lists can be found under ‘What makes me?’
Other Idea Generation Techniques
After working as a group to consider what might be a good start and a bad start, we went away with a theme in mind and began brainstorming avenues of research surrounding that topic as a group. We chose conspiracy theories as it was something all three of us found interesting, yet we didn’t think to add it to our own list of interests.