Projects and prototypes

This portfolio of projects points at a broad variety of directions that can be developed within the design approach to academic work, which is proposed on these pages.

At the same time, these projects illustrate a strategy for positive global change. Put simply, this strategy consists in changing 'the name of the game.'

Currently, our academic work is structured as a puzzle, or better said as a large number of disciplinary puzzles. The pursuit of knowledge is conceived as the discovery of new pieces that 'fit in.' The assumed purpose is to depict and explain the reality.

The alternative that is illustrated here is to discover and implement pieces that fit into the existing order of things, and at the same time transform it. The projected goal is to change our reality, by making things more functional or more whole.

This strategy is also an approach to handling the global issues, where instead of focusing on problems, we work with the underlying structural causes, and introduce structural changes that can correct them.

Our goal is not only to discover and describe the key changes, but also to implement them in practice, or in other words to create prototypes. Prototypes have a similar role in design research as experiments do in science. Each prototype allows us to study how the approach it represents meets reality.

The mission of the Polyscope project is to design a way of creating and using information that can provide us reliable guidance, and a foundation for holistic thinking and action. The Knowledge Federation project designs a social organization of knowledge production and sharing, with corresponding media tools, that can allow people from various divided professions and cultural traditions to co-organize and co-create critical insights. The goal of the Flexplearn project is to design a university course model, our proposal for a university education that suits contemporary conditions. The challenge taken by the Authentic Travel International project is to put the powerful mechanisms of the globalized business into the service of positive change. The Nature Culture Health-Information Design project applies information design to healthcare and wellbeing. The goal of the Key Point Dialog is to design a way of communicating that supports grass-roots changes of values, worldviews and directions. The Eighth Continent, which is presently only an idea, is a culture-building project, offering a virtual meeting and re-building space for businesses, municipalities, people and organizations wanting to pursue new directions.

Copyright: Dino Karabeg 2006
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