Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Masking tape, mats and imagination

Hughes, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-9810-1891 and Tye, M. (2018) Masking tape, mats and imagination. In: Creagh, R. and McGann, S., (eds.) Visual Spatial Enquiry. Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis group, pp. 83-97.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


This chapter applies a spatial approach to discussion regarding policy relationships between different government agencies with different priorities. Government policy is traditionally dealt with in the abstract form of ideas, graphics and text in formal boardroom settings. Discussing abstract policy in a formal setting limits the capacity for creativity and adaptation of ideas and may also foster defensive behaviour by its proponents. An abstract and defensive debate can stymie progress toward a mutual understanding that is exacerbated when policies cross agency jurisdictions. To overcome the abstract nature of government policy debate and the limitations of formal settings, a spatial workshop exercise was developed to test the effectiveness of a spatial approach to understanding policy relationships between different agencies. A range of senior government agents participated, each with responsibility for land use but with different, overlapping priorities. The researchers found that using a physical spatial representation of policy generated a sense of fun while also encouraging positive discussion and understanding. Participants commented positively on the spatial approach that enabled new and clear understandings of policy. This study demonstrates that a spatial approach to policy discussion facilitated positive and productive interactions between government agencies.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis group
Item Control Page Item Control Page