Lecture – 3.19.2018

Additional Resources: Mindset & Posture

This page contains additional resources for the Mindset & Posture class.

The film Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview provides an overview of the global situation that Transition Design aspires to help address and discusses ways in which this transition might be catalysed. In addition to this film’s exploration of the emergence of a new worldview, it touches on many of the key themes within the four areas of the Transition Design Framework.

The video below discusses the life and work of Norwegian philosopher and founder of Deep Ecology Arne Naess and features interviews from many well known environmentalists. Deep Ecology advocates an expanded notion of ‘the self” that is able to identify and empathise not only with other humans, but with the natural world.

The Call of the Mountain: Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology Movement, directed by Jan van Boeckel, 1997

In the video below, businessman Ray Anderson describes the epiphany that shifted his mindset towards an ecological worldview. He subsequently led the transformation of his company, Interface, in pioneering sustainable carpeting.

Reality for Change, 2011

In the video below philosopher and physicist Henri Borfoft introduces the phenomenological approach to science that was pioneered by Wolfgang von Goethe. He argues that science cannot be decontextualized, that it is always embedded in the culture and history of its era, and asks what it means to say that we ‘know the world?’

Schumacher College, Devon, UK

In the video below, Myron Rogers, co-author with Margaret Wheatley of A Simpler Way, argues that organisations are like organisms rather than machines, and the imposition of machine dynamics on organizations produces many unintended consquences and is very damaging.

Berrett Koehler, 2008

The Architect Christopher Alexander has written extensively on his ideas about wholeness and design. In his early work, A Pattern Language he outlines aspects of wholeness and ‘life’ found in the things we design. Below is a brief interview in which he discusses these concepts.

Video from NPR, 2005

Discussion – 3.21.2018

Additional Resources: Critique of the Mechanistic Worldview

This page contains additional resources for the Worldview class.

The two videos below (both humorous and serious) demonstrate and discuss different facets of mechanistic/reductionist thinking and the basis for George Ritzer’s concept of McDonaldization.

From: “I Love Lucy”, the episode in which Lucy and Ethel work in an overly mechanized chocolate factory

Video from Sociology Live!, 2015

George Ritzer’s concept of the McDonaldization of Society was informed by the work of sociologist Max Weber who first demonstrated how the principles of rationalization had been applied to social organization, leading to overly bureaucratic forms of government.

Video from The School of Life, 2015

And now for something completely different:

John Cleese, “The Scientists”, 2008

In the video from the link below, the founder and CEO of Interface carpets, Ray Anderson talks about his epiphany that led him to transition a multi-million dollar company to a more sustainable future.

Philosopher and author Roman Krznaric in this RSA video entitled The Power of Outtrospection argues that we can help drive social change by stepping outside ourselves, and that we need to learn “to expand our empathic imaginations forwards through time as well as across space”.

Video from the RSA, UK, 2011

The video below from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), UK visualizes a lecture by neurologist, philosopher and author Iain McGilchrist. In it he argues that the right and left hemispheres of the brain enable us to perceive and interact with the world in fundamentally different ways: the right perceives wholes, contextualizes phenomena and tries to be aware of as much as possible; the left focuses on parts, decontextualizes phenomena, separates subject from object and strives for efficiency and control. In our era, the modus operandi of the left hemisphere has usurped that of the right, which has led to “our present predicament”.

Video from the RSA, UK, 2011

Discussion – 3.26.2018

Additional Resources: The Holistic Worldview

This page contains additional resources for the The Holistic Worldview class.

Ecologist and author Satish Kumar talks about a ‘new story’ for humanity, based upon a more ecological, holistic worldview.

Findhorn New Story Community, 2014

Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess developed the concept of Deep Ecology. In this film he talks about his connection with nature and the years he spent in hut on the mountain, Hallingskarvet.

Video by Rerun Boekel, 2009

Dr. Stephan Harding, ecologist/scientist, coordinator of the MSc in Holistic Science at Schumacher College and author of Animate Earth talks about science, intuition and Gaia and the characteristics of a new worldview. The interview takes place on the grounds of Schumacher College, an international center for ecological studies in Devon, UK.

In the video below, physicist Fritjof Capra gives an introductory lecture on the Systems View of Life.

Schumacher College, 2016

Celebrated scientist, environmentalist and futurist James Lovelock developed the idea of Gaia Theory in the 1960s. The theory proposes that the earth is a large, self-regulating organism that maintains conditions conducive to life.

Video from Naked Science, 2009

In this video, educator and physicist Arthur Zajonc and other physicists engage in a discussion with the Dalai Lama about the similarities between quantum mechanics, relativity theory and Buddhist thought.

Video from The Mind and Life Conference XXVI, 2013

Physicist and philosopher David Bohm discusses wholeness and fragmentation and aspects of his book “Wholeness and the Implicate Order.”

Discussion – 3.28.2018

Additional Resources: Temporal Thinking

This page contains additional resources for the Temporal Thinking class.

The link below will take you to a page on the Long Now website where you can listen to a podcast with Stewart Brand talking about the ‘pace’ layers of civilization and the different speeds at which they move.

The Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi derives from Buddhist teaching and refers to an aesthetic, an appreciation of the beauty found in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Some characteristics include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and an appreciation of the integrity of natural objects. We believe this also relates to the concept of wholeness which is also inherently temporal.
Video from School of Life, 2015
Stewart Brand’s book How Buildings Learn also laid out the way in which buildings change over time in response to how they are used/lived in. His views are also relevant to understanding the concept of wholeness. In this video he calls ‘time’ the main architect of buildings.
Video from Stewart Brand and James Muncie, 1997
Discussion – 4.2.2018

Additional Resources: Place-based Thinking

Video from The Tribal Trust Foundation
The Mbuti pygmies of Congo’s Wildlife Reserve talk about their place-based way of life. Note the variety of ‘designed’ tools and artifacts that are a part of everyday life.
This page contains additional resources for the Place-Based Thinking class.
The design of the traditional Blackhouse in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland is an example of place-based design. The house was a residence for both animals and humans, built of local materials for local conditions.
The people of Cherrapunji, India have been ‘growing’ bridges across rivers for more than 500 years using the roots of trees:
Architect Kunle Adeyemi is designing structures on water in response to changing environmental conditions.
Video from The Louisiana Channel.
Navajo master weaver Clara Sherman demonstrates the traditional way of carding wool and spinning it into yarn for weaving.
Video from Wolf Creek Productions, 2009 (Embedding disabled. Click picture to watch on YouTube.)
Bernard Rudofsky’s classic book Architecture without Architects offers many examples of design for place. The characteristics of these dwellings also have many of the characteristics of ‘wholeness’ mentioned previously in the seminar.
Djabugay Eldber Rhonda Brim talks about how she is carrying on the indigenous wisdom of basket weaving.
Video from Simpsonmarketing, 2013
Lecture – 4.4.2018

Additional Resources: Mindset and Posture of a Transition Designer

This page contains additional resources for the Mindset and Posture of a Transition Designer class.

The video below is by Matt Koschmann, a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In it, he discusses the importance of collaboration and the concept ‘collabor-ation design’ — how we develop structures for productive collaboration and the process we go through to achieve it.

Video by Matt Koschmann

Professor Alex Pentland directs MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory and the MIT Media Lab Entrepreneurship program. In the video below he discusses the dynamics of human interaction in order to understand what behaviors, patterns of communication and types of body language are conducive to collaboration.

Richard Sennett is a Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, University Professor of the Humanities at New York University and author of The Craftsman and Together. In this video he talks about a key factor in collaborative teams—cooperation.

Video from The School of Life, 2013

In the video below, ‘Let Go and Lead’, Meg Wheatley argues that  if leaders want to encourage productivity and creativity, they should to give up trying control people within their organizations, and allow them to self-organize.

Gagen MacDonald, 2012

Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody talks about the disruptive power of collaboration.

Video from McKinsey & Co., 2014