Design for Living Complexities

The Critical & Creative Thinking graduate program has always been about reflective practice and not purely about thinking. However, because the practice emphasis has rarely dealt explicity with the materiality of the world, the Program decided to develop a course on design. In order to give the course a distinctive character, moreover one not tied to a specific field (e.g., graphics, architecture, furniture,..), the provisional idea was to connect design with critical thinking. While not exactly a crowdsourcing of the course, this CE seeks to inform the thinking of the course designers. CE participants are invited to draw on what is already happening in design education so as to develop units that a) interest them personally and b) bring critical thinking into the heart of design education. Ways to flesh out and refine the initial description created by the Program for the course are also welcome:

Intended outcomes of this inquiry are of two kinds:

CE: expectations and mechanics

Whatever thread of inquiry participants pursue in any specific Collaborative Exploration (CE), your posts and contribution to live sessions should aim to stimulate and guide the learning of other participants, and build towards the final tangible product described in the scenario. The complementary, "experiential" goal is to be impressed at how much can be learned with a small commitment of time using the CE structure to motivate and connect participants.

The CE will take place over 22 days and consists of four sessions spaced one week apart, in which a small group interacts in real time live via google hangout for 60 minutes.* The day and time is arranged to fit the schedules of applicants, but often 9-10am, 4-5, 5-6 or 6-7pm to maximize the coverage of international time zones. Participants spend time between sessions on self-directed inquiry on the case, sharing of inquiries-in-progress, and reflecting on the process (which typically involves shifts in participants' definition of what they want to find out and how). Prospective participants are asked not to sign up if they cannot guarantee live participation in most of the sessions and an equivalent amount of time between sessions spent on the case. (Sessions will be available as a private unlisted youtube for participants who have to miss once.) A public google+ community, open beyond the small group, allows interested people to view and respond to any posts posted by the small group, which may, in turn, draw on them in their private discussions. The structure of each live CE session is predefined, but the CE builds in room for participants to take stock so as to inform future proposals for improvements in these structures.

To register to participate: complete