Systems and Seasons

By     Sep 25, 2014
Creative Community Fellow

Sara Greer

This month, my Fellowship lessons involve systems mapping, the visual representation of various groups and individuals who will become part of the network of a project. Ladies and Gentlemen, the EPP systems map*!


systems map of EPP
My idea, Everybody Park Project, will involve a complex number of people and organizations from vastly different backgrounds with varied talents and skills. Park administrators, installation artists, micro-business owners, contractors, gardeners, school children etc. Visualizing these groups and individuals using systems mapping helped me see the way in which they are connected to the project. The systems map also helped me recognize the way in which each group could be connected, through the project, to each other.

One of the instructions was to create blue lines between EPP and possibly helpful, facilitating groups. Most of my lines were blue. Red lines were to represent obstacles, groups or individuals who may present a challenge in manifesting my project. I started making the government groups and official arts establishments red connections. And then turned them blue again. Why prejudge who may or may not be helpful to you? Really, the whole map could be red. But if I believed that, it would be highly improbable to believe in my project.

In the end, I went with my instincts: Some groups may like the idea of EPP but not want to be near it physically or may feel in competition. Some grant organizations may give the project funding eventually but put a lot of hoops in my path to hula hoop my way through. Those hoops could, in turn, help me solidify the specific goals of the project. The line between helpful and challenging, between choosing blue or red, may be arbitrary in the grand scheme of things. And I may not have come to that perspective without working on My First Systems Map.


system, subsystem, outside factor map


Next, I’ll try something like the systems map above, from Role PlaySpace. I will explore the ways my perception of Everybody Park Project changes with both the season, and my graphic understanding of the greater system.


(*insert horn section here.)


Check out more on systems mapping at Role PlaySpace: