Culture Mapping

Cultural mapping is undertaken to identify, investigate and visualise one’s strengths, weaknesses and growth opportunities. It can be personal or corporate. The method of undertaking is largely dependent on who is doing it and why. The process involves diagrammatically plotting the culture of whom or what you are analysing, aiming to find unique characteristics. It is a technique often used in community development as a way of mapping available assets.

A nice walkthrough of the entire cultural mapping process can be found at:

Contributor: Rik McKenzie, 2013

The Litre of Light project was one of the most successful charitable design projects ever undertaken. Designed by the MyShelter Foundation, the up-cycle solution created a sustainable and affordable lighting solution for nearly thirty thousand homes. The design consisted of a recycled plastic bottle with a little chlorine and water mixed inside that emitted light equivalent to a standard 55W bulb. The cultural mapping undertaken by Alfred Moser and some of his MIT students, at the projects inception showed the limited resources available and demonstrated a heavy reliance on electrical bulbs in slum housing around Manila.

Contributor: Rik McKenzie, 2013

Inclusive edge canopy, developed by architects Andre Moraes and Cynthia C. Gomes Pereira de Farias is a community oriented project in Recife, where shelter from the sun is a physical and cultural necessity. The Boulevards and squares of the favela, Pilar, are inhospitable but shadow provides avenues for interaction and opportunity. Less than $80 and four hours of unskilled labour was all that was required for the canopy to be erected. Materials used were cheap, locally made, and widely available. Several days after construction, locals took ownership, making repairs on the canopy when required. They were supplied with tools and spare parts to enable maintenance and adaptation of the structure as the community needs changed.

Contributor: Rik McKenzie, 2013