Mapping Typologies

— identifying raw materials

To what extent can identifying raw materials teach us about a given territory? How can understanding those materials lead us to a better knowledge of where things come from, in order to master the best use of them? How can it lead us to a clearer approach of our environment as a whole? Atelier NL shows us how to think global and dig local!

In this workshop you will go out into the environment and look around you with new eyes. This workshop provides you with a methodology that encourages you to find stories in a city and to translate them into visualizations. To reach this goal you will have to gain a deeper appreciation and sharper eye of the environment, atmosphere, resource, and culture you find around you.

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I. Introduction

Group orientation is a time for everyone to get to know each other and to become cohesive as a group with a common goal, about to embark on a shared experience in nature. We will discuss how we will move through
the landscape as a group, the collection method we will use, the role the weather might play, timing, communication, and materials we might need. Each group and location is different, so each orientation varies.

II. Tool

Each workshop has a specialized toolkit for the type of collection that will occur. Some toolkits are very small, while others are larger. We provide tools for every participant. The toolkit helps each person to collect materials in a way that will later facilitate the formation of a consistent group collection. The toolkit is a vehicle for the translation of information. It acts as a filter for the experience of the participants. It shapes how they collect, label, and carry their materials. Thus, it shapes how they perceive and interact with the landscape around them.

III. Collecting

Participants spend time in nature and engage with place by collecting objects and observing their surroundings from a new perspective. We provide different frameworks for different workshops. Each group
is composed of a unique set of people with varied backgrounds, interests, and skill sets. Each collection experience is tailored to fit the participants. One or more specialists join us in the field in order to provide knowledgeable guidance during the collection process. Specialists share relevant stories and background information that bring more depth into the way people see and interact with their environment.

Mapping Typologies

V. Lunch

IV. Reflection

After collecting in the field, we spend time reflecting on our experience and sharing what we discovered. We present questions, discuss our thoughts, and grow from each other’s knowledge. Sometimes, the stories
that emerge overlap and become more whole through conversation. When one person looks at the collection of another, they often have new insights to contribute. Each participant’s thoughts and viewpoint are valuable. This is the time for considering, reflecting, and listening before moving forward to the organization phase.

VI. Organizing

After returning from the field each participant takes time to organize and interact anew with their findings. Often we ask participants to organize their findings in several different arrangements. This helps them to discover patterns and themes in their collection. Each person’s organizational structure reveals something about them and about the landscape they explored. After organizing their entire personal collection in different ways, each participant may discover and explore more specific sub themes. What categories do the objects fit into and how do they relate to each other? Participants are encouraged to explore the narratives that can be found within their collection and the relationships that can be illuminated through order and diverse arrangement. by color, type, size, or other qualities that might reveal an interesting pattern or theme.