I just wanted to post my presentation from the ICOGRADA conference for those who asked for it. There are three of the many (over something like 15 for 2009) presentations I have given that make me feel really happy:
- My presentation on the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative at the DMI Conference because it proved that our message is tight and that it is inspirational, not just news. Download DMI_designpolicyprez_lores (PDF 4.5 MB)
- My presentation at ICOGRADA for various reasons I will explain below. Download Icograda_IENtransmodern_tunstall (PDF 3.6 MB)
- My upcoming keynote at the Cumulus Conference here in Melbourne because it will be a transdisciplinary performance on Transdiciplinarity with A4 Circus Arts Ensemble.
My ICOGRADA IEN talk on Transdisciplinary Consciousness and graphic design education really honed my position as a anthro-scholar/design-warrior. As an anthro-scholar, the first part of the talk was very scholarly in content. It described the characteristics of pre-modermity, modernity, and post-modernity as framed by Spanish philosopher, Rosa Maria Magda, who coined the term Transmodernity. It then applied the ideas to the education system in general and then graphic design education specifically.
Finally, it when through the six design philosophy orientations (business to art, artifact to process, high tech to hand-skills). It was so scholarly that the translator came over to me before the presentation to say that she had difficulty with the concepts. Yet as a design-warrior, I realize that the content of an academic paper is not the same as the content of a presentation. As I walked her through the presentation, she turned to me and said, "This is so simple." Ah, the art of effective communication!! The images in the presentation itself were very beautiful. Most of them were ones I had taken in my travels, including those from Beijing a few days before my presentation.
The second part of the talk was interactive. The advantage of being the last day of presentations is that you have a deep sense of the audience. By the time of the design ed conference, most of the professionals had left and thus the audience was 85% Chinese design students, 10% Chinese design educators, and 5% foreign educators. So I used the second part of my presentation to do informal polls of the students to create their own design philosophy profile and compare it to that of the institution. The polling technique was for them to raise their cameras/camera phones, because it was said that Chinese students do not raise their hand in class. Yet, throughout the conference, I and others observed that they would take photos of each screen.
It made me happy that they participated in the polling during the conference and even admitted that their programs are not aligned with their design philosophy.
What made me very happy was that the content of my talk resonated with the issues their are struggling with in terms of the role of Chinese culture in the design process. Following my presentation was that of Professor and archaeologist Zhang Pengchuan of Suzhou University. He spoke about the diversity of China's intangible cultural heritage and how it needs to be protected as living culture to the next generation of designers. My message was in complete harmony with those of the Chinese speakers in terms of being both traditional and modern without the hierarchy implied by the linear progress model of modernity. After the presentations, many people came up to thank me for my words about culture and design education being an act of love.
It was also the public debut of CIKADA, the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Design Anthropology at Swinburne. I think I am going to have a lot of Chinese collaborators with the Centre.