Transforming practices: moving towards a transformation economy, paradigm and beyond

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Extracts

P11

In his book ‘The unconscious civilization’, Saul (1997) proposes to address our societal challenges by embracing responsibility, freedom, and ’real’ individualism, where an individual can only be an individual within society, as part of it and taking responsibility for society.

Prigogine and Stengers (1984) indicate that we are currently in the scientific paradigm of quantum physics, relativity, dissipative & self-organizing structure view developed by e.g. Einstein, Bohr, and Prigogine (Doll, 1986). However, being situated in such a scientific paradigm doesn’t mean that our societal paradigm acts upon the same principles. The western world still seems inextricably intertwined with the Cartesian worldview advocating the primacy of the mind, the subject-object, and mind-body divisions, as well as certainty, truth, and simplicity (Van Dijk & Hummels, 2017; Fleener, 2005). This worldview, in its extremes, seems to facilitate the neglect of lifeworld,

P13 Morin (2008) stresses the importance of stimulating discussion and co-organizing the system through different views, and also the philosophical concept of participatory sensemaking (De Jaegher and Di Paolo, 2007) stresses the importance of joint activities to create meaning. The fourth theoretical principle of transforming practices relates to co-developing with all stakeholders, with an emphasis on 1) making, craftsmanship, and co-designing and -creating (Ingold, 2013; Sennett, 2008; Bruns Alonso et al, 2020), 2) learning through doing & reflecting on the action (Schön, 1983; Dewey, 1916), and 3) researching through designing (Zimmerman et al., 2007). As designers, we approach the world as makers and craftsmen, the latter meaning “doing a job well for its own sake” (Sennett, 2008), thus inviting everyone to be a craftsman. Through co-creating and co-designing experienceable propositions, new opportunities can be envisioned and more importantly experienced, creating ways to reflect on and discuss aspirations and visions that address our societal challenges. Designing opens up the abstract to the sensorial, connects the intuitive to the analytical, imagination to reason, and making to thinking (Hummels and Levy, 2013), or as Ingold (2013) explains it, designing connects the friction with materials through making with the anticipation of foresight and reach towards dreams and hopes. Everything that is in our environment, mediates the way that we perceive and act upon our environment. Redesigning these mediations (Verbeek, 2006), enables us to explore together with beneficiaries and related people alternative ways of embodying values, triggering attitudes, changing behaviors and even norms, thus nurturing our new paradigms.

P 26: designers are predominantly trained to see the problem from a third person perspective, but to improve a system it is needed to become part of it – taking a first persons perspective.

P27 Designers are not ‘good Samaritans’ that help others to fulfill the needs as the designer perceives these needs, but they are facilitators of a conversation in which the other person – on whose behalf the design process was started – is invited and supported to express her or his needs.

P31 In previous works [7], we have indeed extensively discussed how Japanese philosophy, culture, and craftsmanship may impact design as a field of practice, research and education, from which it is nearly absent nowadays. This absence brings to light the strong domination of Western philosophy and culture in design and demands for a decentration of the field. Japanese philosophy and culture were chosen because they seem particularly relevant to design, and therefore potentially capable of operating this decentration through embedded cultures.

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