Living in and through transitional times calls for self-reflection and new ways of ‘being’ in the world. Fundamental change is often the result of a shift in mindset or worldview that in turn leads to new modes of interaction with others. Individual and collective mindsets represent the beliefs, values, assumptions and expectations formed by our individual experiences, cultural norms, religious and spiritual beliefs and the socio-economic and political paradigms to which we subscribe. Designers’ mindsets and postures often go unnoticed and unacknowledged but they profoundly influence what is identified as a problem and how it is framed and solved within a given context. Transition Design asks designers to examine their own value system and the role it plays in the design process. It also argues that sustainable solutions are best conceived within a more holistic worldview that informs more collaborative postures for interaction. Transition Design examines the phenomenon of worldview, posture and mindset and its connection to wicked problems and proposes that shifting values and postures can be part of an intentional process of self-reflection and change.
The session will begin with a brief lecture on mindset and worldview, and the characteristics of mechanistic and holistic worldviews. This will be followed by a discussion of the readings and how belief systems affect not only how and what we design, but what we see as problems worth addressing.
See Additional Resources for this class before you begin the readings.