Mind maps are tools to connect ideas. Choose a topic word, branch out verbally with related words, and an image eventually works its way into the visual representation of ideas. For this first stab at mapping my mind, I have “brain dumped”. As a visual learner, I have recalled the places I have been and the architectural projects I’ve experienced through a collection of mental images. When I say “brain dump” I mean that this mapping exercise has been used as a way for me to catch the images that keep creeping into my memory and illustrate them on paper. The collages above incorporate my photos from Berlin, London, Prague, Munich, and Bolzano for starters with projects and words that I find evocative for a potential thesis.
This initial brain dump has proved itself easier than expected, with the concluding analysis of what these maps mean becoming the troubling part. Though these maps describe interests through representation and narrative, I’m beginning to lose sight of how these previously dubbed evocative terms can stray from the abstract. The most abstract of the three would be “dystopia,” which exists in my mind as a mystery, a sort of unidentified extreme of human civilization, the “Voldemort” of world peace. How does this interest in the mysterious dystopian lifestyle, however, become a thesis? Where do I go next?
Are dystopias just failed utopias? If we aren’t living in a utopia, then is dystopia everyday life? Are these utopian ideas bad ideas, or were they just invented in the wrong time? Is the real question why do cities fail? How much of the culture relates to the success or failure of a city?