In the divided society only poetry that is coming from the pure heart can reach the hearts of all.

Mental mapping is a designing process composed of a series of successive psychological transformations by which a designer can code, store, and use experiences about the spaces and phenomena in the living environment. Mental maps are a tool we use to sense and structure spatial knowledge, allowing the "mind's eye" to visualize unseen and enhance learning from personal experiences. A variety of notes placed on maps reveals often invisible potentials of the living environment and can point to meaningful opportunities for a design that can transform it.

The development of mental maps includes observing, recording, interpreting, and visualizing experiences of the particular spatial context, engaging simultaneously our body and mind. This process allows us to represent patterns and relationships in spaces in a subjective way, from sensual, emotional, associative, reflexive, through verbal to visual. All together they are creating a system of cognitive references for designing a spatial intervention. This way, the designed artifact becomes a device for creating more compassionate relationships with the living environment.

In order to practice mental mapping as a design process, you will follow subsequent activities, such as:

Walking – taking a one-day single journey through a forest applying Situationist International techniques: derive - letting your body take the road, wondering with no goals and no idea beforehand; detournement - letting your mind hack the walk, following sudden reactions, unexpected reflections, or associative trips.

Observing – absorbing spatial environment, paying attention to the particles, going beyond the scene to see unseen and to meet more than meets the eyes, dragging out unexpected memories, stirring reflections, cooking associations, and making new meanings to actual experiences.  

Recording – making a journal during the walk on the most memorable moments that are found on your path by setting up a series of milestones about each particular experience. Write about them or just draw them as a set of symbols or remarks that can help you to memorize epiphanies from your journey.

Storytelling – telling us about your experiences is like sharing a dream with everyone. Just as a dream, your story is composed of samples that are connected by your walk. Name each sample with a meaningful title or a phrase.

Mapping - finding forms and colors, tastes and fragrances, sounds and tactile qualities to replace the words, and drawing them on a blank paper as an assemblage of imaginary patterns made of nodes, lines, and surfaces, that are placed according to their real location on your path.

Retreating –intersecting past, present, and future patterns from the map to riddle your mind. In search of an answer to the unbearable suspense of a riddle, you will script a referential code of a design intervention.

Converging - inserting a code in the place on the path where your particular experience has originated and letting it converge with surrounding space. This will guide your design towards its formalization. What follows you already know.

By the end of the course, each student will submit one A1 poster including a mental map and drawings of the design intervention.