cartographier rotana ty mindmapping data curation sensemaking print globe emergence art

Mapping a way to make sense of the chaos

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee

It all starts with my curiosity

I am inquisitive about many interests and fields. To name a few ones: fashion, music, cities, photography, emerging technologies, holistic health, food, workplace learning, work futures, geopolitics, travelling. This boundless curiosity does help me to find inspirations, insights and practices from many industries and even cross-pollinate them.

It can be rapidly overwhelmed when I can go on and on into a rabbit hole. With many web pages, I bookmarked specific quotes and contents I spotted.

In this chaos, I also need the order to make sense and feel what the cultivation of my curiosity leads to.

My process

In my continuous curation and extraction, I need to go slow, map the dots, digital and/or analogue resources. I need to see the big picture. To subtract or add more to my continuous exploration of interest, a field or a project.

How are you making sense and order in a chaos of signals to nurture your curiosity?

One way that I enjoy and find useful is by writing a blog post. It is how I connect the dots between hyperlinks I curated. I add my thoughts and feelings to build on each other ideas and emotions. I can also add my take and signature. But it does take time, inspiration and focus on doing so.

Another easy way to make sense of my chaos of signals is mind mapping. I do a sketch on paper or via a digital tool such as Coogle. It is easy, fast and rewarding to connect the dots and to see the big picture. To subtract or add more dots, arrows or any other forms. To highlight and synthesize what’s the essence of a topic, field or project.

Project Mindfulness in Slow Renaissance

For instance, I was involved in a transmedia initiative on slow movement. We mapped on a printed journal what matters to educators, creatives and sociologists on the topic ‘Mindfulness in Slow Renaissance’.

This artefact is on my continuous exploration of the Slow movement.

slow map rotana ty

Research on the Slow Movement produced by Rotana Ty via


When I revisit those print and digital maps, I am proud of my work and creativity. I feel enthusiastic about subtracting or adding more dots and insights. My hunch, vision, mindset, practices and the context of our modern world are my compasses for doing so.

Those maps are resources and archives. Unique timestamps and artful visual synthesis that I can refine and re-use in another context or project. This is why mind mapping is a useful and creative way to nurture my boundless curiosity and sensemaking.

Tapestry goes through my flâneur’s journey over 63 pages of my personal learnings, stories and reflections in an e-book format. Through thoughts, experience, practices, inspirations, nudges, and questions, I share my story to work and learn continuously in a networked world.

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