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PHD-DESIGN  February 2015

PHD-DESIGN February 2015

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Subject:

Re: The big picture

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:

Mon, 9 Feb 2015 12:32:22 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

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Carlos
Yes, in using any form of metaphor we are always using "poetic license" as
it were. And yet, the use of metaphor is as concrete as any scientific
"evidence" in our daily lives ... and daily life - the perception of daily
"life" and daily "reality" - has so often absolutely nothing to do with
empirical and strictly scientific "proof" ... I do not have to prove this,
because the advertising industry (often via industrial psychology) have
proven these "claims" (which are not scientific claims but obervations of
what people believe, and therefore find to be "true") ...

But to turn to Terry's post:

[1]  "It means, I find myself not only saying "just a minute, there" but
also "can
you prove to me the claim for art, poetry, intuition, creativity and
metaphor is true".

As far as I am concerned, and thinking back to all the literature I have
thus far gone through, no one has ever claimed that art, intuition,
creativity and metaphor = truth. In fact, and this I believe, there is no
such thing as "the truth", since that = absolutes + fundamentialism +
so-called rationality ...

[2] "It leads me to asking 'Where is the proof that people who are sensitive
enough can make 'sense of it all', and that that sense is accurate?'"

The proof is in the writings of the cyberneticians (which anyone can find
online ... e.g., Gordon Pask, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Heinz von Foerster,
Stafford Beer, Ranulph Glanville, etc.). Try telling Klaus Krippendorff
that this is wrong: "The semantic turn is a seed for design to redesign
itself by means of its own discourse" (p.12) ... and "The trajectory shows
the move from the belief in technological determinism  ... to the belief in
the artificiality of the world  ... the semantic turn that design is taking
is correlated with several major intellectual, cultural, and philosophical
shifts ..." (p.13).

Gregory Bateson as much as admitted that people had to be "sensitive
enough" to (allow themsleves to) perceive the pattern that connects ... no
microscopes, no empirical and absolute evidence as final arbiter ...

And no one has ever claimed scientific "accuracy" as part of the equation


[3]  "My findings so far suggest the claims for  creativity, intuition, art,
metaphors, poetry and the like are perhaps more than a little over-egged."

I can only answer with this quote from Humberto Maturana:
"I proposed the phrase "The Art and Science of Human Understanding" for
cybernetics. Why? The person that guides the ship, the skipper, acts both
on practical know-how and intuition. Thus, the skipper acts both as a
scientist and as an artist.

Understanding a system requires both intuition as a gestaltic grasping of
the systemic coherences of the system under consideration, and the seeing
of the structural (causal) coherences of the locality where the observer
stands. Understanding further involves relating these two different
operational perspectives in a manner that, although not deductive, shows
the dynamic connectedness of any part of the system to the dynamic totality
that the system is. So, to the extent that cybernetics has to do with the
handling of systems, as well as with explaining them scientifically as they
arise in our understanding as observers, I call cybernetics the art and
science of understanding." (
http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/foundations/definitions.htm).
Carlos also wrote:
"As I read it, this line of reasoning forwards the need for metaphor and
for creative behaviour as a counterbalance to rationality."

Exactly, and in my thesis I wrote:
"The question, what is design? can be answered in part by Slamat‘s
(2009:1148) question ―What is education?‖ Slamat regards education as a
practice, just as many design researchers regard design
research as research through design (practice). Theory and practice cannot
be conveniently separated, and for Slamat the theoretical framework
informing his approach to education is the certainty that an educator (and
therefore also the students) must be capable of critical rationality, with
the proviso that the traps of a strictly adhered-to critical theory be
avoided: ―Such a version of critical theory makes use of quasi-causal and
functional explanations and pretends to know what the 'real interests‘ of
people are‖ (:1148-1149). This strongly suggests that the theoretical
ground can be offered as if it were the researcher‘s figure (cf. above),
meaning that the results of research can be pre-empted and therefore
'pre-decided‘ by the (strong) theory, instead of the results being arrived
at through the researcher‘s interaction with the problem space: the way we
'see‘ anything is constitutive of what we think we understand. For this
reason gramma/topology must be a 'weak‘ theory of translation and
interpretation that enhances the designer / researcher‘s capability of
'designerly knowing‘ (hopefully a multiple-vision way of 'seeing‘) instead
of a strong theory of prediction and prescription."

Johann



-- 
Dr. Johann van der Merwe
Independent Design Researcher


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