The Braid diagram shows a path that winds around a continuum. The path is a trefoil, the continuum a torus. Topology is a metaphor through which to inclusively model concepts that The Braid's users explore, in conversation with each other or with a facilitator. While the diagram is a significant part of it, it is not the full, diagrammatic instrument. Type of substrate, scale, mounting method and the inclusion of auxiliary objects (for example the String Braid) are equally important. The image above shows the most recent version of The Braid diagram as part of a wheeled whiteboard.
The Braid instrument functions in many settings - an installation in a gallery, a space prepared to host a workshop at a conference, an artist studio, or a classroom. Users may find themselves drawing systemic, perhaps ecological connections within their topic areas. The Braid may expand or contract at different times. There is no specified point of entry. The Braid may be prepared with prompts that are specific to its intended use. It was initially designed to support conversations about artistic and cultural practices, as shown imediately below, but can support conversations in any area.