Imaginary floor plan as virtual memory palace

Some 6 months ago I was asked to deliver a session on study techniques and memory retention. The session was expected to be a workshop for students in range of 12 yrs to 15 yrs (typical 8 to 10 standard students in India)

I chose list of Prime Ministers of India (total 14 till now) to be memorized and for teaching the techniques like association, linking, memory palace (location). The challenge was using memory palace as each student may have a different location in mind when asked to imagine familiar location. I wanted a location which was shared by the 80 odd students in front of me. Asking them to choose a familiar location and to put the information on different stations on their location would have been difficult to proceed and may have taken a lot of time.

That is why I just drew a floor plan of rooms in top view one room devoted to each Prime Minister. I arranged the plan so that one can travel the rooms like in a mental journey. As I was already having rooms and liberty to choose their position, I made the room size larger or smaller according to the time those prime ministers spent in the position. This made me add some very small rooms and some just stairs for the rooms. I presented this floor plan to the students on projected screen so we can travel through the rooms together while linking the information in each room.

I attached objects which can help recall the names in specific number of counts to represent the cardinal position of the person in the sequence. Some cultural images which are shared by all students so they can attach the information using that information.

Recently when I saw the Miniature memory palaces - including your palm thread, I realized that what I did was similar to the apple drawing shown in that thread. Here the drawing is a floor plan which I chose to draw according to my requirement so it can become a shared memory palace for all the students in the session.

Other virtual memory palace discussions:
Imaginary loci and memory palaces a guide


This is excellent, but I can’t help wondering why you didn’t just use the room you were in. Surely there would have been 14 usable locations in a space big enough to accommodate an audience of 80+…?


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I am glad that you asked this question @RMBittner
This gives me opportunity to elaborate more on the session I delivered that day.

Usually I plan the location where the session is delivered to attach the content of the session and share that story with the participants. So I continue telling them the story of things which are attached to the stations of the location where the session is being conducted, and then explaining the meaning of that image that is the content topic.

That day I had planned to explain them Learning How to Learn topic contents from the famous MOOC on Coursera. Hence I have prepared all the images and locations of that hall with these topics. The aim of doing such an activity is that unknowingly they end up having one memory palace with the content of the session attached to it. I just tell them what we did is called as memory palace and now all of you can review the contents and can also teach these things to all your friends.

The imaginary floor plan was a side topic hence I created this imaginary palace for them, which became an example of how we can also have imaginary palaces and locations where we can attach information.

Hope this answers your question.

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