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PHD-DESIGN  March 2013

PHD-DESIGN March 2013

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Subject:

Re: Illusion of self and the transformaiton of design research

From:

Johann van der Merwe <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 8 Mar 2013 18:38:46 +0200

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text/plain

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Every theory that I have used in my teaching (an amalgam of cybernetics,
soft systems thinking, autopoiesis, actor-network theory and ontological
phenomenology) has had the (radical) constructivist effect of allowing my
students to not be afraid of (or worse, ridicule) my stated position that
"the self" does not exist ... but needs to be "found"/discovered and
re-designed in the present, with the help of everything "outside-the-self".
I have always interpreted social constructivism as the freedom to learn ...
whatever and however that learner is capable of (again, with the help of
other-not-selves, i.e., group learning). Why should design students be any
different to children who have not yet been taught to obey in an unthinking
way? Rote learning only adds to the myth of the "self", while design should
be exploration by (from) first principles, and the greatest principle is
the "old self"" as starting point, acknowledging that this is an incomplete
"design" that needs to be creatively added to, and then using all the
positive bits the learner/observer can collect (sometimes even the lessons
to be derived from negative bits) to re-design a solution to a
problem(situation), whether that happens to be a practical design problem
of the problem of "who am I?".
This is, of course, a perpetually unfinished end-product, and a good thing
it is too ... everyday being (Dasein) striving towards Being but never
quite reaching that point, but also, never stopping the exploration, thus
always and again learning about the world and the self in the process.
Johann

On 8 March 2013 09:32, Karen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Reading from my mobile with big smiles. Can't exactlycontroll a tiny touch
> screen that well in a flash but in short I feel westernisation has really
> brainwashed most of the foreign cultures of thinking. But perhaps it has
> forced non western cultures to assimilate a foreign culture and change.
> Often at the cost of loosing one's original line of thinking. Often a
> consciouseffort is needed to keep ones own culture. Can't type anymore like
> I want to but I am happy that Jinan has posted this!
>
> Learning shouldcs be as free as a playing child whose minds are left open
> and be unexploited for exploration.
>
> Karen Fu
>
>
>
> On Mar 7, 2013 10:09 PM, "Jinan K B" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > Friends
> >
> > The construct of self has been my study for the past 30 odd years. It
> > started with addressing how education in the non-western world is an
> > attempt to westernize and colonize the sensibilities of the learner.
> > Learner is a wrong term. Conditioning is the right term. In my attempt
> > understand and deal with my own colonized mind set I have been studying
> > beauty, cognition, culture. Children etc
> >
> > My life with illiterate people gave a clearer picture on natural
> cognition.
> > The illiterates we talk about are the ones who are using the natural,
> > biological process of cognition as they use sense, observation- the
> > cognitive tools and  concrete phenomenon they see, experience as their
> > cognitive source and self- organization of the cognitive inputs for
> > comprehension. Through insight the knowing happens and the reasoning and
> > language comes in communication.
> >
> > The being-ness of the literate mind is a total mental construct as
> > perception and the cognitive apparatus has been totally impacted by
> > conditioning and control. Individuality itself is the result of one such
> > construct by the literate mind. The fragmentation, alienation etc is the
> > result of that. The right brain left brain divide is another result of
> > wrong cognition due to dependence on language.
> >
> > The cognitive conditions in literate and non- literates (sense literates)
> > are so different from each other and the respective being-ness is
> > constructed by this cognitive conditions.
> >
> > Freedom, no teaching, no instruction, condition of trust, activities that
> > connects one to primary natural phenomenon is the general condition in
> > sense literate society where the innate and natural being-ness of the
> child
> > is awakened. Child is naturally open, observant of life around, non-
> > egoistic as no one builds it nor break it. No praise no punishments. The
> > self- initiative and self- motivated nature of all natural learning
> beings
> > work naturally.
> >
> > The literate conditions are totally opposite. Control, instruction,
> > distrust of environment, constant doníts is what child normally
> encounters
> > and child is constantly taught and is not given the space and time for
> > natural awakening.
> >
> > The literate cultures are constantly dealing with what is known and this
> > can be traced to the Guttenberg revolution which heralded the literacy
> > movement.
> >
> > The fundamental difference in the cognitive conditions that exist in
> these
> > two paradigms are that the conditions in literate paradigm conditions and
> > the other one awakens the inherent potential.
> >
> > News from the discoveries of cognitive science and related fields
> > definitely demands a total change in the way learning space for children
> > are organized.
> >
> > Our feeble and humble attempt can be seen at
> > www.reimaginingschools.wordpress.com
> >
> > Jinan
> >
> >
> >
>
>
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-- 
Dr. Johann van der Merwe
Independent Design Researcher


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