« From Eds & Meds, to Farms and Watersheds | Main | A smooth journey »

April 29, 2011

Do eco learning journeys need a travel agent?

xskool-logo.png

I've written and spoken quite a lot in recent times about the changes designs institutions need to make. Sometimes, I was even asked to do so.

Examples include a talk I did in Delhi earlier this year, What kind Of Design Institutes for India?; and a paper for Cumulus, the design schools network, called 'Make Sense Not Stuff: A three step plan to connect design schools with the green economy'.

I'm also having encounters [that I write about on this site and here] with a growing number of inspirational projects.

Wherever I go, I usually meet one or two people who are ready and eager to make a fundamental transition to a new kind of design. But only one or two.

At the edges, where I often hang out, things are moving faster than at any time I can remember. But the mainstream remains stubbornly wedded to business as usual.

So I have a question: Does the world need a professional development programme for mid-career designers, architects and design professors? Do they - you - need organized help to acquire the ideas, skills and connections needed to help your organization, or community, change course more determinedly than is happening now?

To explore that question, Doors of Perception has launched an enquiry with the working title xskool

At at this stage, Xskool is more of a discussion, than a programme - still less A Plan. Our assumption is that, yes, there's a need for a way to accelerate the transiton of design to the new paradigm - but whether that need should be met by a new course, let alone a new institution, remains to be seen.

Personally, I'm not anxious to launch another small and passionate - but unsustainable - initiative. Been there; done that. And I have an inkling that what's needed is some kind of travel agency that would help people connect with courses and places that are out there, now.

So: any thoughts you might have about an experience, input or service might help you, materially, change a design organization you know, would be most welcome. There are three ways to contribute to the discussion:

First, leave a comment at xskool - or drop me a line: john at doorsofperception dot com.

Second, tell me about courses, events, projects, or journeys that may already be at least part of the answer we're looking for. I'm compiling a list of adjacent courses and programmes called 'Next Practices'
and want to keep adding to that. Some of these are for sure likely destinations on an eco-learning journey.

Third: I'm organizing two workshops - one in the UK, the other in Sweden - for which we have seven places free. The first encounter, which we're co-hosting with Ed Colville from Limina is at West Lexham in Norfolk Friday 20 to Sunday 22 May. You would need to pay GBP 100 towards the direct costs of this weekend, excluding transport there, and be prepared to camp. If you are interested, send me a few lines about the question and experiences you would bring to West Lexham. john at doorsofperception dot com

The second encounter will be as part of the FuturePerfect Festival at Karlstad in Sweden 29-31 July. To join us there you need to be part of the festival.

I hope also to organize a meeting in New York during the second week of June; details to follow.

Posted by John Thackara at April 29, 2011 02:42 PM