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    GIGA-map to systematically organise and communicate issues that justify interventionary solutions for urban farming in Toronto and its environs –… Read More
    GIGA-map to systematically organise and communicate issues that justify interventionary solutions for urban farming in Toronto and its environs – the Democratization of Farming in Toronto. Read Less
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Introduction
The complexities of agriculture in the context of an urban environment is visualised using the emerging technique of GIGA-mapping. Through Systems Oriented Design, we are able to organise and visualise complex data tailored for designers and stakeholders.
 
For a student-group client studying Strategic Foresight at OCAD University, I was tasked to create a GIGA-map to systematically organise and communicate issues that justify interventionary solutions for urban farming in Toronto and its environs – the Democratization of Farming in Toronto
 
This GIGA-map is an invitation for stakeholders through criticism and systems analysis that allows investigation of relations between seemingly separated categories across multiple layers and scales.
The GIGA-map print size is 8' x 3', scaled appropriately so that all the information is legible as the map is presented to the client's class.
This is the convergence point, where (5) integral components of a system of study, (5) corresponding solutions are superimposed on a visually arresting montage of Toronto's urban architecture. The underlying concept of the GIGA-map was to create convergence of contrasting macro-micro objects – the rural, suburban, and urban built environments – coupled with data points and laid out to create a sense of critical mass.
Cropped out sections of rural, agricultural lands in Southern Ontario. Inspired by http://beautifuldecay.com/2014/03/17/jenny-odells-google-map-landscape-photographs/ the cropped sections is an opportunity to reflect on the issues as if they are viewed from above (birds-eye), therefore such issues are difficult to grasp or to see from a distance.
For the GIGA-map, we thought that the data and issues presented should be composed and organised based on rural and urban geographies. It worked on their favour to have the map show the natural progression of food for urban population consumption.
Critical mass I thought with the convergence of Access, Sustainability, Safety, Economic, and Human Factors, data are placed closer together, and visual tension is attained by using symbols of density and tightness.
The conclusions were presented on top of composite future scenarios of urban farming that are integrated into Toronto's architectural fabric.
Additional graphs taken from other academic resources are inserted, as well as body type placed on the outer corners to reduce clutter.
We settled with the convergence approach of having all points converge to critical mass, and then present the solutions or "benefits to intervention". We agreed on a geographic scale, starting from rural agriculture issues, then moving towards urban food safety and accessibility, using appropriate imagery to show the dividing border, the landscape, and the general transition that shows density changes. 
Further sketches are made with more detail to help me organize all the information visually. At this stage, I was exploring rough illustrations of rural and urban geographies and infrastructure and their corresponding issue points. From here, I needed to make sure I as an outsider can manage to decipher all the data the client has gathered, and use this as a guide for me and my clients to understand the original concept. I proceeded with using cropped images and a clean arrangement of all points while emphasizing this as process due to the complexities of the GIGA-map.
Thank you.