Worlding was first popularized by Heidegger in Being and Time (1927). He turned the noun (world) into the active verb (worlding), a gerundive and generative process of world making, world becoming and (as he puts it) world “bringing-near.” For Heidegger, worlding is always meaning giving and already ongoing (i.e. never not worlding); worlding is how we experience a world as familiar; worlding is a determination of Dasein’s being (wherein the world belongs to Daseins’s existential constitution); worlding offers measurable standards of being (both authentic and inauthentic); and worlding is an ongoing process of the thinging world.
In Heidegger’s work, wordling is a difficult negotiation without a tidy definition. Its multifarious and assembling character does not just continue or not end – it is deliberately unmade, a bringing-to-truth that is a disclosing into its own of the “nearest of all nearing that nears” (i.e., there will always be more worlding to take account of). There is not an essentialist, fundamentally superior or universal understanding of worlding that is wholly attainable (i.e., there will always be diverse perspectives and ever more primordial possibilities to consider). Worlding is always already a complex and dynamic assemblage of ever-renewing realities, sensations and perceptions through which we must constantly work our way through to hold open “the Open of the world” (Heidegger, 1971,“The Origin of the Work of Art,” p.45).
Heidegger’s (1971) worlding and thinging are inextricably intertwined for without things that thing, there is no worlding – the thinging of the thing is the worlding of the world: “The world presences by worlding. That means: the world’s worlding cannot be explained by anything else nor can it be fathomed through anything else. This impossibility does not lie in the inability of our human thinking to explain and fathom in this way. Rather, the inexplicable and unfathomable character of the world’s worlding lies in this, that causes and grounds remain unsuitable for the world’s worlding. As soon as human cognition here calls for an explanation, it fails to transcend the world’s nature, and falls short of it” (The Thing, p.179-80).
Importantly, Heidegger stresses that worlding is not of our own making, but rather a matter of responsiveness to particular things: “If we let the thing be present in its thinging from out of the worlding world, then we are thinking of the thing as thing. Taking thought in this way, we let ourselves be concerned by the thing’s worlding being. Thinking in this way, we are called by the thing as the thing. In the strict sense of the German word bedingt, we are the be-thinged, the conditioned ones” (The Thing, p.181).
Heidegger’s (1971) “worlding of the world” is always already revealed within the mirror-play of “the fourfold as One” (das Geviert) wherein the four mirrors of earth, heaven, divinity, and mortality are everywhere reflecting the presence of each other, happening together, enfolded as a unified fourfold-whole: “By a primal oneness, the four – earth and sky, divinities and mortals –belong together in one” (Building Dwelling Thinking, p.149). As such, worlding is a dynamic interplay of referential responsiveness to the immensely dense “fourfold as One” network of associations, in which someone or something has a multitude of possibilities, locations or places to continue to be what it always already is (i.e., its worldliness).
Eighty years after Being and Time, worlding has evolved from its Heideggerian origin in “Dasein’s being” towards a new horizon of “ontological Design” (Fry, 1999); from the tangible “thinging of things” (Heidegger, 1971) to the intangible “televisualizing” (Fry, 1999) and “synthetic reality gaming” (Castronova, 2007). Wordling has been appropriated many times over, signifying: economic ontology (Thrift, 2008); imperialist processes and the colonial inscription of textuality (Spivak, 1985, 1990); everyday feminist international politics (Pettman, 1996); violences of heteropatriarchy and heteronormativity (Fadem, 2005); proprioception, kinesthesia and touch (Manning, 2007); geopolitical classifications of first, second, third and fourth worlds (OWNO, 2010); first, second and third waves of societal transformation (Toffler, 1980; Doerr, 2010); globalization (de Beer, 2004); global warring (Fry, 1999); prayer (Detweiler, 1995); secularization (Miller, 2009); enfleshment of God in the world (Hemming, 1998); right reciprocity between nature, humans and more-than-humans (Kohak, 1984; Abram, 1996); the socio-biological complexity of human extinction (Costa, 2010); situated practices of cultural studies (Wilson & Connery, 2007); enculturation of true craftsmanship (Risatti, 2007); the aesthetic realization of visual-musical works in new media culture (Rickert & Salvo, 2006); connecting beings together through online social networks (Tech Crunch Network, 2010); design-driven transformation of everyday life by everyday people (Berger, 2008); doing good design for sustainability and social justice (Berman, 2009); growth, development and change by design thinking (Brown, 2009); and designerly ways of teaching and learning (Rusnak, 2010).
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.
One of my #1 websites to visit for designerly inspiration is: www.deviantart.com
Here are a few of my favourite typography art works!
Far away from myself
Beauty is hard to discover
It’s a lie.
gun by mou5e
Education is the most powerful weapon
Don’t worry. You will be alright. I am here to help you. Everything will be ok. We will get through this. I will never leave you. Don’t give up. I am here for you always. You are not alone. I will protect you. I understand you…
The complete text of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem.
Emerson’s: “What lies before us, and what lies behind us, is nothing compared to what lies within us.”
As soon as I open my mouth to speak of any of this…
… My words just crumble as they leave me… Never ever to reach you…
DO YOU KNOW WHAT
THE SECRET IS ?
According to John D. Caputo, the secret’s secrecy is that no one knows and we are never going to know, which is not due to failure on our part as it is not even a matter of knowing. There is no Absolute Truth and we are NOT born into this world “hard-wired to Being Itself, or Truth Itself, or the Good Itself… and when we open our mouths, it is we who speak, not something Bigger and Better than we.” Dr. Caputo takes a non-hierarchical philosophical stance where the so called know-it-alls are not distinguished from the unknowns to conclude (without concluding) that, “We do not know who we are – that is who we are!”
The Absolute Secret keeps knowledge safely secreted away. Not only does not-knowing keep us safe, our lives are impassioned by the passion of not-knowing. Because we simply do not know, it keeps the door open for that which we don’t see coming or couldn’t possibly predict in the future. Not-knowing fuels our desire to know… not-knowing keeps hope alive as hope… and not-knowing keeps faith safe from knowledge. Security of knowledge is a great threat to faith: instead of seeing through the eyes of faith, the faithful begin to see things period (this is a danger of religious fundamentalism).
Caputo’s More Radical Hermeneutics (2000) is one of my most cherished texts. Caputo uses deconstruction, repetition, The Absolute Secret, and his own mischievousness to hound and harass hermeneutics, thereby uncovering: “prankster hermeneutics,” “parisian hermeneutics,” “yankee hermeneutics,” “devilish hermeneutics,” and “holy hermeneutics!” He describes his more radical hermeneutics as “a kind of intellectual fire department that arrives on the scene to douse the flames of essentialism wherever they flare up and threaten to consume us.” Essentialists are anyone who claim to be in on The Secret.
In There is No One Narcissism (1995), Derridia also spins The Secret into a non-knowing:
“It is not a non-knowing installed in the form of , “I don’t want to know.” I am all for knowledge [laughter]… So, this non-knowing… it is not the limit… of a knowledge, the limit in the progression of a knowledge. It is, in some way, a structural non-knowing, which is heterogeneous, foreign to knowledge. It’s not just the unknown that could be know and that I give up trying to know. It is something in relation to which knowledge is out of the question. And when I specify that it is a non-knowing and not a secret, I mean that when a text appears to be crypted, it is not at all in order to calculate or to intrigue or to bar access to something that I know that others must not know; it is more ancient, more originary experience, if you will, of the secret.”
Je ne sais pas. Il faut croire!
Designerly Assignment #1: Go font yourself!
Take typographical elements (such as the words of a story or a favourite quotation) and bring them to life using “Artext” to reinforce and emphasize the meaning-making potential of your images. For example:
Check out this Pepsi TV ad using mainly typographic elements with animation, warm colors and upbeat music – connecting feel-good and energizing messages with the brand’s new logo replacing the letter “O.”
WhatTheFont for iPhone is a must have app for all my fellow typophiles (type geeks & obsessive font lovers). Get out your iPhone, snap a photo sample of the type in question (from a magazine, poster, web, etc), and the font will be identified in seconds. So far, I’ve found this app to be quick and fairly accurate. I recommend spending a couple minutes in Photoshop to lighten or remove the background noise and increase the contrast. What are you waiting for: get off my blog and go What The Font!
LEARN HOW TO:
>> make robotic pets using Lego Mindstorms NXT and Pico Cricket
>> design computer games, websites and virtual worlds
>> be a technology co-researcher in a UBC study
>> edit and animate your own mini-movies
SUMMER FUN FOR FREE:
We welcome all girls in grades 6 or 7. Please note that space is very limited. Registration is complimentary. A nutritious lunch, snacks, and outdoor adventures will be provided daily. Location: UBC Education Building. Program: 9:00-3:30 (with supervision available until 5pm).
APPLY ONLINE: www.101technologyfun.com
101 Technology Fun is part of the UBC Research Project: HOW WE LEARN (Technology Across the Lifespan). The program is made possible with the enthusiastic support of Graduate Students and Teacher Candidates in the Faculty of Education.
If you are interested in a volunteer position, whether it be instruction, curriculum design, photography, videography, or what have you, please contact PJ Rusnak. Thanks!
What is education for? Why do we educate? What are students really learning in our classrooms? Are we over-schooled but under-educated?
“Today’s children starting kindergarden this year will graduate in the 3rd decade of the 21st century, a world that will have challenges and opportunities beyond what we can predict, with new possibilities and problems that will demand creativity, ingenuity, responsibility, and compassion. Whether our children will merely survive or positively thrive in the decades to come depends in large measure on the experiences that they have in school” (OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture & Bruce Mau Design, 2010). How might we join school learning to living well and well-being? As the WALL-E Captain famously says: “I don’t want to survive, I want to live!”
What do we want our students to know, do, and be? What is best for our children to learn for the future, and how can they best learn it? How do we educate future innovators (beyond mere conformists or consumers) who are confidently prepared for the opportunities, responsibilities, and experiences of life? How might we encourage “goodness” as part and parcel of school “effectiveness”?
There are no shortage of questions about “21st Century Learning” in a world of increasing instability, uncertainty, inequality, and unsustainability. Statistics estimate that we will reach 7.5-10.5 billion people in 2050 unless a major catastrophe happens. 2.8 billion people in our world live on less than $2 per day. 1.3 billion live on less than $1 per day. 1.5 billion people will never get a clean glass of water today, tomorrow, or any day in their lives. 115 million primary school aged children don’t go to school. And how many millions will go to bed sick and hungry tonight?
The Dalai Lama’s Facebook status on Monday, March 7 is worthy of contemplating:
Whatever the intellectual quality of the education given our children, it is vital that it include elements of love and compassion, for nothing guarantees that knowledge alone will be truly useful to human beings. Among the major troublemakers society has known, many were well-educated and had great knowledge, but they lacked a moral education in qualities such as compassion, wisdom, and clarity of vision.
What is most important for students to know? How do we educate confident, happy, citizens who are committed to sustainability, social justice, and civic responsibility; who are technology-savvy; who have strong morals, cross cultural awareness, and respect for diverse others? How do we teach and learn about managing and ensuring a sustainable world? How do we minimize our reckless abuse of one another and nature? How might education be more relational, compassionate, and caring, such that we might learn how to love ourselves, each other, and the planet Earth playground that we share?
OWP/P Architects, VS Furniture & Bruce Mau Design. (2010). The third teacher: 79 ways you can use design to transform teaching and learning. New York: Abrams Books.
The Mind’s I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul is a radical exploration of mind/brain/body/soul in which editors Hofstadter & Dennett (1981) have arranged an enigmatic collection of provocative texts to problematize the nature of self:
“Where Am I” (chapter 13) is Dennett’s fantastical piece (reprinted from Brainstorms) recounting his highly dangerous and secret mission for the Dept. of Defense (in collaboration with NASA and Howard Hughes) to develop a STUD (Supersonic Tunneling Underground Devise). In short, Dennett’s assignment is to undergo an advanced surgical procedure: the radical separation of his brain from his body.
After the operation is deemed successful, a lightheaded Dennett gets really excited to take a good look at his brain – of course he is excited, wouldn’t you be?! Upon seeing his brain, floating in a mysterious bubbling fluid that looks like ginger-ale, Dennett wonders why his thoughts are originating from his body? Why is he staring at his brain-in-a-vat instead of believing that he is suspended in the effervescent fluid, being stared upon by his very own eyes? He tries and tries again to think himself into the sparkling vat, but to no avail. Riddled with confusion, he attempts to orient himself by giving names to things:
“Yorick,” I said aloud to my brain, “you are my brain. The rest of my body, seated in this chair, I dub ‘Hamlet.’” So here we all are: Yorick’s my brain, Hamlet’s my body, and I am Dennett. Now, where am I? And when I think “where am I?”, where’s that thought tokened? Is it tokened in my brain, lounging about in the vat, or right here between my ears where it seems to be tokened? Or nowhere? Its temporal coordinates give me no trouble; must it not have spatial coordinates as well?
Of course, this story isn’t (and couldn’t) be true. Dennett’s philosophical fantasy seeks to shake-up our unquestioned assumptions about the mind/brain/body/self (particularly to provoke the narrow-minded, no-nonsense, scientific view of the human soul). Dennett’s philosophical truths of “underwhelming significance” serve to make the strange obvious and the obvious strange, revealing perplexities with absurdity, such that we may be jolted to see throught our conditioning and begin to rethink our assumptions. Where is Dennett? His brain (aka Yorick)? His body (aka Hamlet)? Or is there no Dennett? Or is Dennett wherever he thinks he is (i.e., his point of view is also the location of his self)? If the sense of location is but illusion, then perhaps so is the sense of self?
In questioning his “essential Dennettness”, Fortinbras (Dennett’s new body, after the expiration of Hamlet) routinely flips an intentionally unmarked Master Switch that allows him to switch from Yorick to Hubert (his newly cloned brain) or vice versa. Every time he flips the switch, nothing happens. Dennett doesn’t have any idea where his self is. But he continues to flip in the switch, longing for the moment of understanding, and then, all of sudden:
“THANK GOD! I THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER FLIP THAT SWITCH! You can’t imagine how horrible it’s been these last two weeks — but now you know; it’s your turn in purgatory. How I’ve longed for this moment! You see…
I’m not one to spoil a good story, so you’ll have to find the answer for yourself in Dennett’s text: Where Am I?