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PHD-DESIGN  March 2013

PHD-DESIGN March 2013

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Subject:

Re: The self issue

From:

Terence Love <[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:

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 20:45:19 +0530

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dear Chuck,

Well said. You raise a big issue that deserves a completely different
thread.

The current state of play is:

1. We have a big, pretty messy literature about design activities that is
pretty much broad brush and guesswork

2. In design research and design practice we have some practical  heuristic
speculations on what designers can do to design better, but there is no
fundamental well-justified theory foundations for them. In many cases, also,
the heuristics give less than great outcomes and we can't explain why or
identify exactly what to do to avoid them.

3. By drilling down  and asking why is that, and why is that ,  and why we
are getting to some clarification on items of theory like creativity and
intuition that have to date  been subjective and speculative.  Worse, there
is also substantial evidence (witness, memory, perception, bias research
etc) that such theories based on subjective self-reports are unreliable.

As you point out, this leaves a gap which is how to derive theories about
design methods and the design methods themselves, on the basis of this new
knowledge.  Even before getting to the point of drilling down to the detail
of design thinking, this  'design-guideline gap' has been evident for some
years. I remember writing about it   a few years ago.

So, you are right, the current state of play is we still need to build
theories for design methods that take into account  new insights about the
fact that our bodies make decisions long before our minds get to know about
them and that our reasoning  and memories are modified by our bodies to suit
what our bodies want whilst giving our apparently conscious 'selves'  the
belief  that we thought of things, made decisions, were creative/intuitional
etc .

Advertising and film making has assumed this for decades  without the depth
of theory to explain it. 

One of the first 'design' theories on this track was made by Bastick in 1980
(Intuition: How we think and act)  deriving methods that took into account
the reflexive systems of interactions between individuals'  musclo-skeletal
dynamics  and thought  as it relates to  problems, intuition and solution
generation. In essence, it implies there are improvements in design ability
by a variety of techniques. It also provides an evidenced physiological
explanation for both the 'Aha' phenomenon and how problems are resolved by
thinking hard about them and then relaxing.

So, some of the ground work is in place. The rest  needs building.

As part of that, I would be grateful could you say in more detail what you
mean by 'a reflective interpretation of situated phenomena that places
emphasis on the thinker's prior experience and summary beliefs, preferences
and habits'. 'Who' is doing the 'reflective interpretation'? Why is it
'reflective'? How is 'emphasis' done  and how does it  causally affect
things and what does it affect?

Warm regards,
Terry
===
Dr Terence Love FDRS, AMIMechE, PMACM, MISI
Director,
Love Services Pty Ltd
PO Box 226, Quinns Rocks
Western Australia 6030
[log in to unmask]
www.loveservices.com.au
===


    


-----Original Message-----
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related
research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Charles
Burnette
Sent: 13 March 2013 17:52
To: Dr Terence Love
Subject: Re: The self issue

Terry,
Nice response! I could quibble about your categorization of Johann 's and my
comments because I agree with the many views one can take of "self" that you
enumerate. I can even go farther and grant you poetic license when using
"illusion"to avoid such a nuanced description.  My main point was that it is
very difficult to design to meet an ever adaptive state of "knowing oneself"
whether by designer or user. I prefer to think of it as a reflective
interpretation of situated phenomena that places emphasis on the thinker's
prior experience and summary beliefs, preferences and habits. ie. a fine
example of usually subconcious Reflective Thought  as in A Theory of Design
Thinking.

Or so I believe,
Chuck



On Mar 12, 2013, at 10:08 PM, Terence Love wrote:

> Hi Chuck and Johann,
> 
> There are some subtle points around these issues that seem to be 
> causing confusion.
> 
> Damasio is careful to distinguish between:
> 
> 1.The phenomenological experience of ' sense of self' as perceived 
> subjectively
> 
> 2.  'Idea of self'  as a philosophically defined abstract concept 
> referring to a pseudo-real entity (similar to 'peace' or 'a swim' (if 
> you are 'going for aswim' then when you come back show me this 'swim' 
> thing that you have gone to collect).  In essence, the 'idea of self' 
> as 'me' is culturally determined. There are exercises in perception 
> that demonstrate how this can be thought of differently. It is a 
> theory construction not a 'taken for given' truth.
> 
> 3.   The physiological processes  by which 'sense of self' is  created 
> 
> 4. The physical entities that are the necessary pre-cursor building 
> blocks on which the physical process by which  'sense of self' is 
> operationalized within an individual.
> 
> 5.  The externally perceived apparent construct  'self'  of a person  
> as a package of partially predictable behaviours that appear to others 
> as if an individual is operating fully as an executive agent.
> 
> 6. The 'content'  of  the internally constructed in each moment  
> concept of 'self' as subjectively perceived by an individual as their 
> bodies construct it to be sensed.
> 
> 7. The 'content', as perceived by others,   of  the internally constructed
> in each moment  concept of 'self' as unconsciously constructed by an 
> individual as their bodies construct  to be sensed.
> 
> Chuck is talking more about 4 and 6.
> 
> Johan is talking primarily about 5, 6 and 7.
> 
> The discussion about 'self as an illusion' involves all of them and 
> starts from 1.
> 
> Regards,
> Terry
> ===
> Dr Terence Love FDRS, AMIMechE, PMACM, MISI Director, Love Services 
> Pty Ltd PO Box 226, Quinns Rocks Western Australia 6030 
> [log in to unmask] www.loveservices.com.au ===
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and 
> related research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On 
> Behalf Of Charles Burnette
> Sent: 13 March 2013 06:58
> To: Dr Terence Love
> Subject: The self issue
> 
> Dear Colleagues,
> I think that there is a somewhat confused understanding of what the 
> self is all about. It isn't an illusion.
> It is a neural manifestation built up in the memory of every 
> individual from their experience in the world.
> It changes as we mature, learn and reflect on our existence. Because 
> it is a cognitive artifact created by each person it is not the 
> easiest object of thought to apprehend. Although designers should 
> definitely try  to understand people as individuals it is very hard 
> not to generalize, or apply our own self images on their behalf.
> Those interested in the cognitive and cultural ramifications of self 
> should read Antonio Damasio's most recent book  "Self Comes to Mind". 
> In it he writes" it depends on the brain's capacity to hold expansive 
> memory records not only of motor skills but also of facts and events, 
> in particular, personal facts and events, those that make up  the 
> scaffolding of biography and personhood and individual identity." p289 
> Not an illusion, just memories, however formed.
> 
> Or, so I believe,
> Chuck
> 
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