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



Rolf, I think that what you are rising is a question about creativity, which we, focusing on boundary objects and cooperation, might not have directly addressed in the paper. To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of what you are saying is precisely that those gestures, movements, and physical performances that you mention are, as you say, both produced and *discovered* by the designers. There is intention, but also improvisation. So, how can I *do* something that I don't yet know? How can I conceive what I have never thought about before? And, how can I go about designing for this not-yet-known thing along with others that do not think/know as I do? 

We begin our paper with a quotation about experience: “To experience, to undergo, is to be certain. To hear of someone else’s experience is to be uncertain.” I think that experience has been a recurrent topic in this xmca discussion, and has become clearer and clearer that Dewey's notion of *an* experience addresses much of what we are asking about: those gestures, movements, and physical performances have (or rather achieve) both intentional and receptive import precisely because they are moments of one single experience that, in its unfolding, unites what otherwise may had been random, inchoate gestures, movements, and performances. When people have gone through an experience, and only after the fact, can reflect upon what they have just done/gone through and thus keep on building on, in a process of place-making, or of form-making (of per-forming?). I think that in our paper we accomplish a little of this project of specifying the relation between doing and undergoing in interdisciplinary design work, and how, by being able to refer back to a history of shared performances (rather than to prior knowledge or shared concepts), goes on despite lack of substantive agreement.

But we have not yet asked the questions in terms of creativity, which is what I think you are suggesting now. Only few days ago I begun reading Mike Cole's recent work about imagination and creativity and, although only having had a quick look, I see an issue that they bring forth that may be of help here. They distinguish between Imagination and Creativity, which are related, but point to different aspects of the individual/collective relation: whereas imagination is about individual development, creativity is about cultural change. I haven't read it carefully enough (I hope Mike can help here), but I think there is something about cultural change that we are leaving unaddressed, or rather remains tacit in our paper, and which may shed light beyond the issue of experience. 

So, I will try another question: What else (if anything) is there to experience that does not come in/from experience? And how does that relate to human design/artistry/innovation? In our paper we suggest that there is a mutual constitution between material configurations and bodily orientations and dispositions; and that materials become infrastructure because of a history of such orientations and dispositions that become a sort of habit. But, is that all? When I read about cultural-historical literature, and find such notions such as object of activity, or projects, I always wonder how something that is not yet in the participants' experience nonetheless is assumed to be part of the explanation of how and why people is doing what they are doing. Does this have relation with the distinction between imagination and creativity?

More questions, rather than answers, are also welcome!
Alfredo


________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Rolf Steier <rolfsteier@gmail.com>
Sent: 17 July 2015 00:45
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects

Are we allowed to ask questions about our paper as well? I hope so!

For a little context -in our paper, we identified particular kinds of
episodes in which participants from different disciplines seek coherence
and continuity of shared representations through bodily action. These
actions include gesture, movement and physical performance linking the
present material artifacts to objects of design. Most of these episodes
seem to involve some form of improvisation, resourcefulness or creativity,
and I'm not fully sure how to characterize these aspects of the
interactions. In most cases, the participants seem to be searching for the
best words or material representation to convey a particular intention -
when this becomes problematic or limiting - they almost fall back on what
is available - these improvised bodily performances - as a way of
maintaining continuity, and of inviting co-participants into a shared and
imagined space. These bodily actions don't seem to begin the proposals, but
are in a sense *discovered* by the participants.

I think there is something really fascinating about this kind of creativity
and resourcefulness in interaction that could be explored more deeply - and
that I'm having trouble articulating. Maybe some of you have some thoughts
on this? Alfredo - I know we've talked about this a bit before so maybe you
can add a little clarity to my question.

On Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 9:37 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

> Alfredo,
> Thank you very much for the sketch of your roots. I taught English in
> Puigcerda and Barcelona for 5 years back in the early 70s, just before
> Franco died. (He died the day I boarded the plane back to the U.S.) Place
> and language are interesting, especially where language varieties meet.
> Boundaries. I know mostly from my familiarity with the music of Catalunya
> and Mallorca that the speech communities in each of those places treasure
> their unique languages (Catalan and Mallorquin), yet see a commonality
> vis-a-vis their separateness from Castilian Spanish, the national language
> of Spain from 1492 on. I see a parallel between your work on boundary
> objects, where individual persons collaborate to create spaces, AND
> boundary objects “negotiated” by groups of people who live in real spaces.
> I am thinking, among other things, of indigeneity, a big topic here in New
> Mexico, with so many Native Americans. Assymetries of power. Bullying.
> Testing and curriculum become instruments of war by other means. I hope my
> tone does not distract from, nor diminish, the optimism created by this
> thread. Yet I think that optimism is so precious because of the ground (the
> world) of the dialog.
> Henry
>
>
> > On Jul 16, 2015, at 12:13 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> >
> > Well, you could say that I am partly Catalan. I grew up in the province
> of Valencia, where Catalan language is official language together with
> Castilian Spanish. Although Valencia (the county) and Catalonia are
> different regional counties, Catalan is spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, and
> the Balear Islands. Some call the three together as the Catalan Countries.
> I don't like borders, but I respect and enjoy cultural diversity.
> >
> > Standardized testing, and the whole assumptions behind it, are an issue
> also in Spain and in Catalonia; but education has been so battered during
> the last years of right-wing government that I the debate have been more
> about means and access than about contents and aims. Which in some sense
> may be good because it moves the debates away from performance. But I have
> been living outside of Spain for eight years now, so I am not the best to
> update you on this either.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Alfredo
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> > Sent: 16 July 2015 19:54
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >
> > Alfredo,
> > Yes, you have answered my question very nicely! I especially appreciate
> that you were willing to wrestle with my question, despite your lack of
> familiarity with the issues here in the U.S. Am I wrong, or are you
> Catalan? In which case your experience in Catalunya would take you to a
> different place in critiquing schooling there, though not necessarily
> unconnected to yours and Rolf’s work on boundary objects. I just met for
> the second day in a row with a friend who is the liaison between our public
> school district and a children’s science museum called Explora. I feel like
> I’m swimming in this thread, talk about a mixed metaphor!
> > Henry
> >
> >
> >> On Jul 16, 2015, at 12:18 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> I am sorry, Henry, but I am not very familiar with high-stakes
> standardized testing (as different to standardized testing in general) or
> with common core (which I quickly read is an issue in US). But I would say
> that, if (school) curricula were to be consistent with the view of
> education as the practice of creating conditions for certain attitudes and
> dispositions to emerge--which is what I was suggesting in the paragraph you
> copy--curricula would not be so much about standardized contents, but about
> human sensitivities and relations. So, I would say, no, standardized
> testing is not in principle in line with what I was trying to say.
> >>
> >> I was trying to make a distinction between trying to design someone's
> particular experience, and trying to design conditions for the development
> of attitudes and orientations. The first is likely impossible. The second
> seems to make more sense.
> >>
> >> One may of course wonder whether those attitudes and orientations can
> be considered general, and then form part of standardize measures instead
> of the traditional "contents and skills". But measuring assumes some
> quantitative increment in a particular aspect as the result of learning.
> Growth and development, however, are about qualitative change. So, as soon
> as you start measuring you would be missing growth and development. So,
> again, no. I would not say that high-stakes standardized testing is in line
> with what I was trying to say.
> >>
> >> I hope I have answered your question,
> >> Alfredo
> >> ________________________________________
> >> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> >> Sent: 16 July 2015 07:48
> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>
> >> Alfredo, you say:
> >>
> >> "However, we cannot aim at determining any particular
> situation/experience. The same may be said about EDUCATION. We cannot
> intend to communicate the curriculum and make it the content of the
> students' experience in the way we intend. But we can try to create the
> conditions for certain attitudes and dispositions to emerge."
> >>
> >> Would you say that high-stakes standardized testing is in line with
> your construal of curriculum design? How about common core?
> >>
> >> Henry
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Jul 15, 2015, at 5:29 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Thanks a lot for the clarifications. I see now why it may be said that
> designers can aim at designing for constrains but not for affordances. I
> see that this way of talking is part of a designers' way to get things
> done, and that it may indeed be an effective way to design for
> place-making, as in the example that Michael gives of MOMA. Indeed, much of
> what we report in our study is about designers talking about how spatial
> features might afford some experiences in the museum while constraining
> others.
> >>>
> >>> I must admit, however, that I still consider the distinction
> problematic from an analytical perspective whenever our object of study is
> experience, situated action, or design as situated practice. A more correct
> way to talk is that affordances and constrains are the positive and
> negative sides/interpretations of a single unitary category. As an actual
> and concrete phenomenon, walking into a musuem implies both affordances and
> constrains at the same time, whether intended or not. Which makes me wonder
> whether other terminology, such as Ingold's notion of "correspondence,"
> might be more appropriated when we talk about how materials and actions
> become entangled into particular trajectories.
> >>>
> >>> In any case, and as Rolf emphasizes, what the designers in our study
> indeed do is to IMAGINE ways of being in the museum. Imagination versus
> prediction may be an interesting topic emerging here for further inquiry
> into design work.
> >>>
> >>> Another important (and related) issue that I think is emerging here
> has to do with the level of generality at which design intentions can be
> expected to work (just as Bateson argued with regard to prediction). At the
> level of generic social processes, and given a particular
> cultural-historical background, we as designers may try to make some
> generic situations more likely to occur than others (facilitating that more
> or less people end up together in a given place). However, we cannot aim at
> determining any particular situation/experience. The same may be said about
> EDUCATION. We cannot intend to communicate the curriculum and make it the
> content of the students' experience in the way we intend. But we can try to
> create the conditions for certain attitudes and dispositions to emerge.
> >>>
> >>> Alfredo
> >>> ________________________________________
> >>> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> >>> Sent: 15 July 2015 23:30
> >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>
> >>> Hi Alfredo,
> >>>
> >>> I think Rolf may have addressed the question of the differences
> between affordances and constraints in his post.  The way he described the
> designers as possibly setting up the corner with Pollock at MOMA.  It was a
> long time ago so I'm not sure if this is the way it was or the way I
> remember it, but let's just believe this is the way it was.  The painting,
> I think there were three were set up in a corner off a main corridor.  The
> lighting was dark, which if you have ever been to MOMA is different, in
> many other parts of the museum there is a good deal of natural light (there
> was this great fountain, I wonder if it is still there).  The paintings
> were on tripods rather than hung on the walls and they were surrounded on
> three sides by walls.  All of these I think would be considered restraints
> - pushing me in to the works rather than stepping back away.  It was
> impossible for more than two or three people to view the paintings at one
> time and movement was limited, so there were fewer chances for social
> interactions (you were not going to pick up anybody looking at Jackson
> Pollock).  The atmosphere was brooding, making it more likely that viewers
> would move towards internal reflection.  All of these were constraints that
> canalized perspectives and feelings viewing the paintings.  You really had
> only two choices, you moved in to the paintings or you moved on, which I
> had done every previous time coming upon them.
> >>>
> >>> The painting itself though became an affordances, an object at the
> nexus of my journey through the museum, where I was in my life, and my
> abilities to perceive the painitings.  This was something that could not be
> designed I think because nobody could think that moment was going to
> happen.   So then what is a perceived affordance.  Way back when there was
> also a Manet room.  It was a round room with different variations of his
> water lilies in a circle.  Almost the exact opposite in constraints it was
> large, airy, a lot of natural light.  If you were looking to brood you went
> somewhere else.  In the middle of the room was a wooden structure (not an
> obvious bench), but you realized as random colors dissolved into water
> lilies that you wanted to sit down.  You naturally moved to the center of
> the room and sat (wondering if a guard would come and tell you it was
> actually an important piece of art and you should get off).  The designer
> anticipates a desire to soak in the room, to almost get dizzy in the
> lights, and included in the design the piece of wood that will have the
> perceived affordance for sitting, changing your concept of time and space.
> >>>
> >>> Michael
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: xmca-l-bounces+glassman.13=osu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> xmca-l-bounces+glassman.13=osu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Alfredo
> Jornet Gil
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 3:01 PM
> >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>
> >>> Thanks Michael,
> >>>
> >>> I think we are saying the same things, indeed, or at least more or
> less. I am quite certain that Bateson referred to energy, and that he used
> the mentioned examples (or similar ones) to show how the energy that moves
> the pig is not a direct transfer of energy from the kick, whereas in the
> case of the billiard balls, the movement of one ball is caused by the
> energy that the kicking ball brings. I might be wrong in the context within
> which Bateson was discussing the example, and I see that your account is in
> that regard is more accurate. But the point is the same: you can not intend
> the outcomes of a system by addressing only its parts as if they were
> connected directly, in a linear causal fashion; as if the whole was the sum
> of its parts. I do see a link with Vygotsky's rejection of S-R and his
> inclusion of a third element that transforms the whole system.
> >>>
> >>> But I totally agree with your comments on design intentions as they
> relate to ecology, and I, as I know also Rolf does, also like very much the
> notion of ecology to address these issues.
> >>>
> >>> If I read you correctly, and citing Don Norman (whose work I ignore),
> you suggest the possibility that the relations between design intentions
> and actual experience could be thought of in terms of different levels?
> That one thing is to design for what is general, but that we cannot design
> for the particular. Is that right? If so, I think that Bateson had a
> similar argument on prediction, does not him? That we can predict on
> general levels (e.g. population), but not at the level of the particular
> (e.g., individual). I haven't gone that way, but seems a promising road to
> consider this jumps between levels of generality or scales.
> >>>
> >>> Finally, I am not sure if I get what you mean when you say that we can
> design for constrains but not for affordances. I still see that the one
> presupposes the other; you can separate them in talk, but, to me, in actual
> experience, a constrain is an affordance and vice-versa. I don't see how
> the road has any inherent constrain that could not be an affordance at the
> same time. Of course, if you take the normative stance that roads are for
> cars driving through them, you may be right. But if we think of roads as
> asphalt on the ground, as yet more ground only of a different shape,
> texture, and color, how is that a constrain but not an affordance? Or an
> affordance but not a constrain? Of course, culture constrains once you are
> within the road and you are driving. But then, the constrain is not in the
> road, as you seem to suggest, but in the journey; in the journeyman that
> carries some cultural way of orienting and affectively relating to its
> environment so that particular constrains are taken for granted despite the
> possibility of being otherwise. But I might not have thought it well/long
> enough and of course I might be wrong. I would like to understand your
> position here better.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks!
> >>> Alfredo
> >>>
> >>> ________________________________________
> >>> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> >>> Sent: 15 July 2015 20:32
> >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>
> >>> Hi Alfredo,
> >>>
> >>> I have been reading Bateson through a cybernetics lens lately (Bateson
> along with Lewin and his wife Margaret Mead were part of the original Sears
> conferences)  and I'm not sure that's right or I am victim to the "when you
> have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" but....
> >>>
> >>> I think Bateson was arguing with those looking to apply the more
> physical/mathematical origins of cybernetics to human or really (pace the
> pig story) and system that moves beyond simple physical feedback loops.  I
> think his larger point is that everything has a response within the larger
> feedback system that exists but we cannot go - what Bateson refers to as
> MIND.  Attempts to create and control feedback loops, to try and design a
> system for specific types of feedback is a dangerous proposition.
> >>>
> >>> This I think is the reason that affordances really can't be designed
> into an ecology, only a recognition of the context in which actions are
> taking place (and I say this having no idea what Gibson's relationship to
> cybernetics was).  Taking Larry's example of the girl it is perhaps also
> likely that the girl could have taken the fixing of hair as a criticism, an
> attack, and it might have destroyed her confidence.  Both make sense in
> terms of feedback loops, but only ad hoc.  So if a designer does in some
> way design that experience into the action, even without meaning they are
> taking a large chance, because they do not know the trajectory it will
> take.  We simply need objects that are part of our journey, part of the
> larger context but not designed for purpose, for feedback.  There is no
> assumption about trajectory.
> >>>
> >>> I think Don Norman sort of muddied the waters on this, but in an
> interesting way.  That we can assume people are going to want to do certain
> things in a very general environment - when  you enter a dark room you want
> light, so it is possible to design objects that meet that need that we are
> more likely to find in the moment that we need them.  But I think that is
> very different from the idea of specifically guiding feedback loops that
> even take generalized experience in a certain direction.  I am thinking
> about Dewey, and he makes a similar argument to Bateson with his concept of
> transactions.  Although he does seem to think that it is possible to create
> a larger field of action so we can see at least local interrelationships.
> But his idea of experience is also very much one of discovery based on
> needs at the immediate moment - social relations act as a vehicle for these
> discoveriesn(Dewey of course was writing before Gibson and for most of his
> life before cybernetics.  I also wonder what he thought of cybernetics).
> >>>
> >>> I think I disagree with you, constraints are not about the journey but
> about the road.  If you build a road on the side of the river you are
> constrained because no matter what, you cannot turn right.  Your direction
> has already been partially determined by the designer of the road.  But the
> mistake we make is in thinking that also controls the trajectory of the
> individual's journey.  The effect of designers on trajectories of action is
> important, but limited.
> >>>
> >>> The primary place that designers have influence on affordances it
> seems to me is by being able to create a unique context for an individual's
> and a group's that limit possible trajectories on an individual's journey.
> But we should never mistake those constraints for affordances.  I think
> Bateson might argue it is hubris to do so.  Perhaps this is what you are
> saying Alfredo.
> >>>
> >>> Michael
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Alfredo Jornet Gil
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 12:38 PM
> >>> To: Rolf Steier; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>
> >>> I'd like to follow up on Michael's post by asking a question: Are not
> affordances presupposed by constraints and are not constraints presupposed
> by affordances? If so, I would wonder whether it makes sense to ask whether
> museums should be designed for affordances and constraints.
> >>>
> >>> What I think is clear from the anecdote that you bring about the
> Jackson Pollock corner is that whatever EXPERIENCE emerges from being
> somewhere (i.e. being someone at some time in some place) cannot be
> INTENDED. And I think this applies both to designers and users, to those
> who set things up for you to experience and to you, who could not foresee
> what your experience was going to turn you into before you go through it.
> >>>
> >>> I think that the big issue that you bring on the table (to continue
> with Larry's metaphor) has to do with a difference between physical
> relations and social relations, and the idea of MEDIATION. Gregory Bateson
> noticed that the relations that are the subject matter in physics are not
> the same as those that are the subject matter in communication. He noticed
> that physical relations (relations that are the object of study of physics)
> transfer energy in direct manners: a billiard ball hits another ball and we
> can anticipate the exact speed and direction that the second ball will take
> based on the energy that is in the system ball + ball + someone hitting. In
> living beings, the things are different. Bateson explained, if we kick a
> pig's ass (I think he used this somehow bizarre example) the reaction of
> the pig is not accounted for by the energy that is contained in the kick,
> at least not in a direct manner. The energy that moves the pig is from a
> different source. Before Bateson, it was Vygotsky and his notion of
> mediation who would most clearly state that social relations are not
> direct, but mediated.
> >>>
> >>> So, how can design go about this? If we, along with Dewey and
> Vygotsky, consider experience to be a unity of person and environment, and
> we assume as well that this is a social (not just individual) category, and
> that how a situation is experienced is also refracted through the social
> relations within which we engage, the most designers can do is to foster
> social relations go on, giving afordances to prcesses of signification,
> without intending to embed meanings. It is about affordances/constraints,
> but not about how to interpret something, but about going about
> interpreting. I think.
> >>>
> >>> Best wishes,
> >>> Alfredo
> >>> ________________________________________
> >>> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> >>> Sent: 15 July 2015 18:04
> >>> To: Rolf Steier; eXtended Mind, Culture,        Activity
> >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>
> >>> So after reading the article and the e-mail discussion I'm beginning
> to think there is a really big issue here that I am trying to grapple with,
> especially in terms of boundary objects (which I admittedly do not
> understand very well).  And it relates to the metaphor of the table (both
> as discussed by Larry and Ingold as interpreted by Rolf).  It is this, in
> the museum should the place be set up as affordances, perceived
> affordances, or constraints?  It seems the museum in the study has
> potential affordances for the users.  The cultural historical moment
> (unable to think of any other word) of the museum sets the context, meaning
> those walking through the museum are going to be restricted by the
> historical and cultural boundaries leading up to the art work, along with
> the expectations and needs of the individuals moving through the museum,
> but they will come across objects/artifacts that they think meets the needs
> of their particular journeys. The posing becomes both an internalization
> and externalization of the thinking (or are they one continuum at this
> point?) in which they both make sense of the object in terms of their own
> meaning and needs and also try and communicate what they found, leaving a
> potential trails for others.
> >>>
> >>> An example that has stayed with me for years.  Living in New York I
> used to go to the Museum of Modern Art on a semi-regular basis (in large
> part to try and meet women, always unsuccessful).  I would often visit the
> Jackson Pollock corner.  I would look and it would always be meaningful to
> me and I would move one quickly.  Once, soon after graduating college and
> unemployed and about as frustrated as I'd ever been I viewed the same
> paintings.  At that moment Pollock made sense to me, a deep emotional punch
> - the paintings became objects that could bridge my rage, sadness and fear
> to the next moment in my life.  There is no way a designer could have
> planned this affordance.  It was based on the movement not just through the
> museum but my life.  I think back to what my gestures, or even posing might
> have been at that moment.  A slumping in to myself, an internalization
> perhaps of a socially sanctioned symbol of rage.  But perhaps a posture
> also that said stay away.  The place I created in that moment was one that
> included me and whatever demons Jackson Pollock fought with.
> >>>
> >>> Or should museums should be designed for what Don Norman refers to as
> perceived affordances?  The table that is set up can be one of perceived
> affordances.  What I grab for the spoon because its shape makes sense in my
> need/desire to eat cereal.  The focus goes from cultural history setting a
> general context - Jackson Pollock is a sanctioned way to bridge emotions,
> to actually setting the trajectory of the act.  I sit at a table, I want to
> eat cereal, I must follow sanctioned rule systems, I know what I need at
> that moment and look for objects that fit my needs.  Is the room in the
> article about perceived affordances.  Should the museum be designed for
> perceived affordances.  A person coming upon an object may be thinking this
> because of what it means in our society to be walking through a museum.
> The object offers an opportunity to make communicative gestures, such as
> recreating the posture of The Thinker the authors refer to.  I have seen
> many shows, movies where this happens, from movies from the 1940s to the
> Rugrats.  This is the cultural cue of what we do with art objects in a
> museum, we gesture to both understand and communicate.
> >>>
> >>> Or should museums be designed as constraints.  In the Metropolitan
> Museum of Art (sorry for the New York centric places but that's where I
> spent most of my museum life) the rooms are set up very, very carefully, so
> that in many ways the objects (at least are meant to I think) to constrain
> your thinking, so that you are responding to a certain period or school of
> art, understanding how it all fits together.  The table metaphor fits here
> as well I think.  Does the table constrain our actions, limiting to certain
> types of behavior (use only certain types of forks for certain types of
> food).
> >>>
> >>> Okay, too much I know.
> >>>
> >>> Michael
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu
> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Rolf Steier
> >>> Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 6:58 AM
> >>> To: Alfredo Jornet Gil
> >>> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; mike cole;
> lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>
> >>> Thank you for your thoughts Larry,
> >>>
> >>> I wanted to pick up on your suggestion of the table metaphor because I
> think that's really interesting. I believe you are proposing the shared
> meal as analogous to the kind of orientation work (or perhaps Leigh Star
> might consider this translation or pre-translation work?) that precedes the
> task at hand (in the case of our study, the task is design). Excerpt 3 from
> our study might be relevant here, when in turn 6, the curator turns to the
> researcher, leans in, and points in order to create a shared visual field.
> >>> The curator and the researcher can now orient towards the existing
> gallery in order to imagine future, possible changes in the gallery. The
> curator is in a sense extending an invitation to sit down at the same table
> to be able to share his vision for the gallery.
> >>>
> >>> This shared meal might of course also be considered designed. Ingold (
> >>> *Making*) actually uses this same table metaphor to demonstrate the
> facilitation of activity as an aspect of design - *"Everyday design catches
> the narrative and pins it down, establishing a kind of choreography for the
> ensuing permanence that allows it to proceed from the moment you sit down
> to eat. In such a straightforward task as laying the table - in enrolling
> into your relation bowl and spoon, milk jug and cereal box - you are
> designing breakfast."*
> >>>
> >>> There is an improvisational quality to the bodily/performative
> orientation work that is maybe not captured by the shared expectations of
> sitting down to a meal. But at the same time, we can also consider the
> workspace of the multidisciplinary design team as designed in the same way
> that the meal is designed in order to support the objective of the meeting.
> That is, the, design team must first engage in a place-making activity for
> their collaborative setting in order to attend to the design of the
> exhibition space. The designers set the table with a white board, sketches
> and design ideas, perhaps some coffee... etc., before turning to the task
> of imagining the future exhibition.
> >>>
> >>> Lubomir, you asked - *"who are the placemakers -- the architects or
> the USERS of designed/created/socially produced spaces?" *I think this is
> difficult to answer because both architect and user play a role in the
> place-making process. The architects embed possible meanings (if place and
> meaning are analogous than perhaps these might be considered 'place
> >>> potentials') that only emerge through the activity of the users. I'm
> only thinking through this now, so feel free to elaborate or to disagree!
> >>>
> >>> Rolf
> >>>
> >>> On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:28 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <
> a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> >>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Thanks a lot, Lubomir!
> >>>>
> >>>> On to your question, I am tempted to stretch a bit across frameworks
> >>>> and answer that, the difference between the process of performing an
> >>>> activity in space and developing a sense of place would be akin to the
> >>>> difference between an operation and an action as per Activity theory.
> >>>>
> >>>> Again, we must be careful on the distinction between space as a sort
> >>>> of objective geometrical coordinate, or space as not becoming a part
> of "an"
> >>>> experience (in Dewey's sense). In the first sense, the sentence
> >>>> "performing an activity in space" makes only sense when talking about
> >>>> geometrical practices, for example; one may think that in some
> >>>> engineering practices, it is possible to orient to space as space, as
> >>>> a coordinate. BUT still, the experience of being doing such practice,
> >>>> if it has import to further development in the person, it must be
> >>>> refracted through the person's experience; there must be involvement,
> >>>> and therefore placemaking. In the second case, we might think of us
> >>>> performing some activity within taking much of it, without noticing we
> >>>> are doing. It is in this sense that I do the bridge with operations
> versus actions.
> >>>>
> >>>> I would not have many problems in associating place with meaning and
> >>>> placemaking with meaning-making, although I personally would be
> >>>> careful if doing so, emphasizing the situational and distributed
> >>>> nature of the process that placemaking attempts to capture.
> >>>>
> >>>> Hope this helps
> >>>> Alfredo
> >>>> ________________________________________
> >>>> From: Lubomir Savov Popov <lspopov@bgsu.edu>
> >>>> Sent: 14 July 2015 23:06
> >>>> To: Alfredo Jornet Gil; Rolf Steier; eXtended Mind, Culture,
> Activity
> >>>> Cc: mike cole; lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >>>> Subject: RE: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>>
> >>>> Thank you Alfredo,
> >>>>
> >>>> By the way, I should have started my mail with an appreciation for
> >>>> your article and Mike's choice to bring it to our attention.
> >>>>
> >>>> Now it is almost clear how you use the word and conceptualize the
> >>>> phenomenon. I would respectfully ask you for a few more things: what
> >>>> is the difference between the process of performing an activity in
> >>>> space and developing a sense of place. I personally interpret place in
> >>>> terms of appropriation of space in the process of human activity and
> >>>> the subsequent meaning making which has existential importance for the
> >>>> individual. The phenomenon of place is on par with the phenomenon of
> >>>> meaning and placemaking is a process on par with meaning making. How
> >>>> do you position yourself regarding such conceptualization?
> >>>>
> >>>> On a similar note, who are the placemakers -- the architects or the
> >>>> USERS of designed/created/socially produced spaces?
> >>>>
> >>>> By the way, I might be stretching too much the part on place and
> >>>> distracting from other aspects of your wonderful article.
> >>>>
> >>>> Best wishes,
> >>>>
> >>>> Lubomir
> >>>>
> >>>> -----Original Message-----
> >>>> From: Alfredo Jornet Gil [mailto:a.j.gil@iped.uio.no]
> >>>> Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 4:31 PM
> >>>> To: Lubomir Savov Popov; Rolf Steier; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>> Cc: mike cole; lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >>>> Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>>
> >>>> Dear Lubomir,
> >>>>
> >>>> thanks for your questions. I agree that the notion of place has been
> >>>> around in different forms during at least the last 20 years or so,
> >>>> from geography with Tuan, technology with Dourish, to the so-called
> >>>> place-based education. I must also admit that we did not work with a
> >>>> carefully operationalized definition when using the term in the paper,
> >>>> but I can of course share my view on the issue and how I understand
> it.
> >>>>
> >>>> For me, as in most of the cases mentioned above, place is a way of
> >>>> emphasizing the experiential in what comes to be socially or humanly
> >>>> relevant. Most simply, and this most of you probably know, is about
> >>>> the difference between a rationalistic, geometrical conception of
> >>>> space versus a more phenomenological one. I read Streek (2010) citing
> >>>> Cresswell about
> >>>> place: "Place is about stopping and resting and becoming involved".
> >>>> This is precisely what we aimed to emphasize in our paper, that
> >>>> whatever practices were involved in getting things done together in an
> >>>> interdisciplinary group, they involved a process of becoming involved,
> >>>> experientially, emotionally, bodily, with the materials and currents
> >>>> going on in a given situation.
> >>>>
> >>>> I also read Ingold (2011) warning against the difference between space
> >>>> and place in terms of space being a reality substance and place being
> >>>> constituted by subsequent level of abstractions. In my view,
> >>>> experience is not about abstraction, but about involvement. And place
> >>>> is about space as it is refracted in intelligible experience; not
> >>>> about an abstraction over an objective field, but more related to a
> perezhivanie in Vygotsky's sense.
> >>>>
> >>>> Alfredo
> >>>> ________________________________________
> >>>> From: Lubomir Savov Popov <lspopov@bgsu.edu>
> >>>> Sent: 14 July 2015 21:55
> >>>> To: Rolf Steier; eXtended Mind, Culture,        Activity; Alfredo
> Jornet
> >>>> Gil
> >>>> Cc: mike cole; lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >>>> Subject: RE: [Xmca-l] Re: The Emergence of Boundary Objects
> >>>>
> >>>> Dear Rolf and Alfredo,
> >>>>
> >>>> What is your definition for place? How is place different from space?
> >>>> I ask because people use the words place and peacemaking in dozens of
> >>>> different ways; it is just mindboggling.
> >>>>
> >>>> Thanks,
> >>>>
> >>>> Lubomir
> >>>>
> >>>> -----Original Message-----
> >>>> From: xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> >>>> xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Rolf
> >>>> xmca-l-bounces+Steier
> >>>> Sent: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 2:44 PM
> >>>> To: Alfredo Jornet Gil
> >>>> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity; mike cole;
> >>>> lchc-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >>>> Subject: [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!
> >>>> Rolf
> >>>>
> >>>> On Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 7:38 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil
> >>>> <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> 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)
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
>
>
>