Chuck and all,
Perhaps it is useful to link "passion" and intentionality and to consider
the duration and recurrence of the commitment involved.
Reasoning backward from the presence, experience and potential utility of
passion, I think of it is an useful indicator that the "executive function"
is mediating among more than strictly cognitive considerations in designing
and consider it worth thinking about what they are and the roles they play.
I see passion as an indicator and a participant in three wide arrays of
intensity: interest, significance, and involvement all integral to the
process of design thinking.
An interest array extends from casual awareness to interest to rapt and
focused attention to a more and more passionate interest and concern...
Interests are the aboutness of designing. And aboutness signifies
intentionality (according to Richard Rorty).
The denominator array for interest here that is significance
(interest/significance) measures how much the interest dimension matters.
Situations which merit only casual and passing attention don't matter much -
with the opposite the case at the other end of the array. How much
something matters helps determine involvement and commitment.
Involvement, another executive choice, ranges from uninvolved to involved to
committed to occupied (ask my wife) to obsessed(?) and probably does as you
say, incorporate an evaluation of "where opportunities for fulfillment
You say: It is laden with values and mediated by beliefs.
I think of values and valuing as the intentional drivers in designing, the
creators of the reality of difference, dissatisfaction with existing
situations, and the emf of the transformation process. Beliefs are our
sacred values, the ones others are not allowed to touch. Humans, as we
sadly know, will go so far as to kill for these.
You say: Perhaps passions qualify and direct intentions toward the objective
of experiencing flow.
It seems to me that there is a good deal of "executively and socially
mediated" design thinking that generates and qualifies intentions toward
On 2/28/09 9:15 AM, "Charles Burnette" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Chris, Ken, Klaus, Jerry and list
> On Feb 27, 2009, at 9:08 PM, Ken Friedman wrote:
>> Design involves both kinds of states. In design, as in most
>> practices, what you write describes it well: "passion or flow states
>> come, i think, only at fortunate moments that nevertheless make the
>> whole process worthwhile."
> Perhaps it is useful to link "passion" and intentionality and to
> consider the duration and recurrence of the commitment involved. In my
> view, passion is about doing something intensely in contexts where
> opportunities for fulfillment exist. It is laden with values and
> mediated by beliefs. It has a persistent focus, context, and
> background built in the thinker's mind over time. It is also about
> obtaining or achieving desirable objects whether these be artifacts,
> relationships, behaviors, goals or the complexly rewarding feelings of
> "flow". A passionate response to a person or situation of any kind is
> an emotionally driven, positive, goal seeking commitment that isn't
> accidental or determined by fortuitous events or satisfactions as the
> comment might suggest. It involves an executive function of mind and
> patterns that depend on the fit between affordances in focal
> situations and the thinker's background, knowledge and values to
> manifest high motivation. Some people are or become more passionate
> than others. They respond passionately to different situations with
> different knowledge and objectives. They are "self actuated" in
> Maslow's terminology. Perhaps passions qualify and direct intentions
> toward the objective of experiencing flow.
> Interesting thread,
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