My working definition for designerly ways of “worlding” in how we learn connotes an immersive process of deeply embedding design methodology into teaching and learning environments —whereby creativity and design thinking are means of empowerment and transformation— to synergistically connect learners, technologies, ideas and opportunities together to make informed change; to nurture students’ natural desire to design and innovate; and to build sustainable learning futures that have meaning and quality of life for all.
“Learners” are understood as systems thinkers assembling what assembles a world (HWL, 2010); “designerly ways” as how designers think, act, play, be, feel and work; and “worlding” as mindful participation in unfolding worlds within worlds —where world refers to the natural, social, material, virtual or spiritual world, or lifeworld— necessarily recognizing the interdependence of humanity with the more-than-human worlds that we are in and part of (Abram, 1996). Hence, “designerly ways of worlding” denotes learning through design (of things, events, solutions, communities, identities, futures, etc.) within a supportive community of practice and a range of meaningful contexts in which learners have productive agency to co-create the worlds in and around them (i.e., their design thinking and designerly ways matter) —with intent for developing a sustainable citizenship that joins learning to living in right reciprocal relationships to the worlds of others (and things).
Designerly ways of worlding prepares learners to become “world builders” or leaders of change who take initiative to solve complex problems (including education, health, quality of life, and environment) using design thinking in- interaction- with -technology- and- stories. Learners are actively engaged, individually and collectively, in a design cycle of questioning, investigating, prototyping, evaluating and refining —an iterative feedback loop from which new knowledge grows out of, resolves, and creates design challenges.
Encouraging experimentation, sensible risk taking and moderate uncertainty (as in the process of design) offers potential for: (1) “unshackling the conditioning forces” (Arendt, 1958) that prevent learners from seeing beyond the status quo; (2) practicing a worldy criticism that doubts and challenges what is taken for granted; and (3) developing better informed and more meaningful relationships between selves, others and things.
Designerly ways of worlding in how we learn deeply integrates:
knowing (with doubt and discernment)
as doing (by experimentation and invention)
as being (creating and questioning)
as having (awareness and foresight)
as emoting (openness and sensitivity to difference)
as playing (with freedom and imagination)
—as essential to inspire renewal of wonder, possibility and responsibility.