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[Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects

Hello All,

I also want to thank everyone for participating in this discussion, and I'm
looking forward to developing some of the ideas from our text. I think that
Alfredo did a nice job of introducing the context of our study, so I don't
have much to add. The two aspects that Mike brings up are also very much of
interest to me, and I think quite closely related. I think we treat
'distributed imagination' in this instance as a form of place-making for a
space that doesn't exist yet (the museum exhibition). At the same time, the
place where this design work is occurring is also undergoing a
transformation from space to place as the participants construct
representations and begin to collaborate. Alfredo and I were playing with
an illustration of these trajectories as merging, though we weren't able to
bring it together - so maybe this discussion can allow us to flesh out
these thoughts.

I'm looking forward to the discussion!

On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 7:38 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>

>  Hi Mike and all,
>  thanks for recommending our article for discussion, and thanks to
> anyone who wishes to participate. We really appreciate it! I can try to say
> a bit about the article.
> Rolf and I did our PhD as part of two different projects that had a
> science museum and an art museum as settings for the design of
> technology-enhanced learning environments. Early on in the PhD, we begun
> talking about notions of space as central in our respective projects. During
> the last year, we shared office and had much more time to discuss. We had
> always wanted to write something together and the MCA special issue on
> Leigh Star seemed the perfect occasion.
> The design meetings involved many participants from different backgrounds,
> from education to architecture and software engineering, and sometimes it
> was difficult for the teams to advance towards definite solutions. I
> remember watching the videos from the first months of design work, hoping
> to find something for writing a first paper. I found different interesting
> issues to pursue, but one episode clearly stood out from the rest. It was a
> design meeting, after many meetings with lots of disagreements and dead
> ends, in which a discussion that concerned a wall in the museum space
> unexpectedly appeared to trigger lots of good ideas in the design team. It
> stroke me that something as banal and simple as a wall had been important
> in making it possible for the participants to achieve shared perspectives
> on the task and go on. I remembered then to have read something about
> boundary objects, and it was then that the figure of Leigh Star begun to be
> relevant.
> In this paper, the aim was to consider boundary "objects"  from the
> perspective of the participants' "bodies," which stood out in our analyses
> as particularly relevant for the achievement of co-operation despite lack
> of substantive agreement. Rather than shared substantive understandings,
> what seemed to allow the participants to proceed was being able to orient
> towards and perform specific situations that were lived-in (experienced,
> gone through). We recur to the notions of place-making and place-imagining
> to emphasize this per-formative aspect that has to do with inhabiting a
> place and finding one's ways around it.
> We wrote the paper as we were finishing our respective theses/defenses,
> and we wanted to do something that should feel fun and free. We felt that
> Star's work was broad and were encouraged to connect different ideas from
> different scholars. The schedule was tight, and, although I think we
> managed to put together some ideas, we may have taken many risks in
> bridging across the different frameworks. I hope that those risks taken may
> now open space for questions/comments to emerge in the discussion, and I
> look forward to learn a lot from them.
> Thanks,
> Alfredo
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* lchcmike@gmail.com <lchcmike@gmail.com> on behalf of mike cole <
> mcole@ucsd.edu>
> *Sent:* 14 July 2015 19:17
> *To:* eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> *Cc:* Rolf Steier; Alfredo Jornet Gil; lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> *Subject:* The Emergence of Boundary Objects
>   If my information is correct, both Alfredo and Rolf have some time in
> the upcoming period to discuss their article on the emergence of
> boundary objects.
>  So, to start the discussion.
>  I am finding this article enormously generative of ways to think about
> some perennial issues that have recently been on my mind. The entire
> discussion leading up to the formulation of transforming spaces into places
> (and recreating spaces in the process) locks in
> directly with our current work on the 5th Dimension, which i have been
> writing about for some time as a tertiary artifact and an idioculture, but
> which most certainly fits the concept of a boundary object.
>  Secondly, I have become really interested in "practices of imagination"
> and that is just how Alfredo and Rolf characterize their two
> installations and the professional teams that cooperate to create them.
> And they make a new linkage by referring to distributed imagination, which
> is most certainly going to require imagination to fill in the ineluctable
> gaps, and provide us with some insight insight into the processes involved.
>  Those are my issues for starters. What strikes others?
>  mike
>  PS--
> For those of you who missed this topic, the article is attached.
>  --
> Both environment and species change in the course of time, and thus
> ecological niches are not stable and given forever (Polotova & Storch,
> Ecological Niche, 2008)