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the conference is hosted by the Society in collaboration with the Institute of British Geographers, and will be at the Society's premises in London.
this will be the third time i'm attending, and my very first time i'm actually convening a session!
i've titled the session Geographies of making: the jazz of participatory fabrication, improvisation and hackerspaces. i am very honoured that it is one of eight sessions sponsored by the Economic Geography Research Group.
four guests from various parts of the world, and myself, will be reading papers at this session. they are:
- Suntje Schmidt (Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung) on innovation and creative labs in Berlin - organising temporary spatial configurations for innovations;
- Michael Vallance (Future University Hakodate) on a learner-centred design for tele-robotic collaboration;
- Ladan Cockshut (Durham) on navigating the digitisation and gamification of citizen science;
- myself on examples and enactments of maker culture in the Asia-Pacific; and
the following is the text of a letter i have sent to everyone who has helped me (so far) in my journey to publish a book establishing the theory of Disciplinary Intuitions.
a special shout-out to my publisher (and friend) Lawrence at Springer :-)
i have written books before, but this has been my first attempt at editing a book :-)
i have loved every minute of it, almost entirely because of the opportunities to interact with each of you :-)
just like a doctoral thesis, this has been a multi-year journey.
unlike a doctoral thesis, there’s been a terrific social-support structure that we have established for each other :-)
later this month, i will submit the entire manuscript.
i therefore thought this was an appropriate time to pause, and look back to how we got here, and to thank each and every one of you.
Prof Hung might be surprised to know (on the other hand, i think nothing i do surprises him anymore) that my first record of my use of the term Disciplinary Intuitions dates as far back as 23 May 2011. in the spirit of the Chinese proverb to remember the source while drinking from the stream, i must credit Nathanael Ng and Steve Zuiker for first opening my mind to the notion of intuitions (without the 'disciplinarity') in the first place (as far back as January 2010). in those early years, the dialogue between the two was in terms of expert- / novice-intuition(s).
we formed our little Reading Group on 8 May 2012, during the lunch break of the OER Retreat :-)
we had our first meeting one week later, on the afternoon of the 14th.
our regular meetings began in earnest only later that year, because i underwent surgery and was obliged to rest at home; in retrospect, i thank God for the three months He gave us to do the literature scan.
we were awarded our publishing contract in November 2012 (exactly on my birthday, actually) and from August 2012 to September 2013, we met seventeen times - that works out to an average of a meeting every 24 days :-)
it took us these fourteen months for us to work through and achieve a satisfactory degree of intersubjectivity on the theoretical foundations of Disciplinary Intuitions.
(as an aside, we have come to understand Disciplinary Intuitions as innate computational modules of mind which are in the process of being exercised and developed as the learner interacts with his or her external environment. Given this definition, Disciplinary Intuitions has its roots in embodied cognition, social realism, and the computational theory of mind. An embodied perspective is critical to the Disciplinary Intuitions approach because of how we understand intuitions; we see the latter as innate modules of mind - which by themselves are rudimentary and are exercised and developed (only) if and when the individual utilises them as he or she interacts with his or her (physical (including ‘virtual’) and / or social) environment. In turn, the social realist perspective is equally critical to the Disciplinary Intuitions approach because it provides an epistemological (and sociological) ground from which to argue for a disciplinary structuring of 'reality' - the same disciplinarily thereof is mirrored in the typology of the innate modules of mind described in the computational theory of mind)
such is the nature of our endeavour - in establishing a new theory - that while we took fourteen months to get the first three to four chapters in place, the bulk of the book - the chapters focussing on specific disciplinary domains - were written in six months.
so, to Profs Howe, Chong, Sim, Baildon, and Cho, to my authorial team Michael, Michelle, Wanying, Suffian, Bin, and Anselm, to my critical friends Paul, Jimmy, Lookang, Jennifer, Shushing, Luisa and Ladan, to my fearless mentors JSB and Prof Hung, and to my patient and long-suffering team Mingde, Ahmed, Derek, Collin, and Richard,
this Christmas, i would like to share with you the following passage from Isaiah 40: 26-31.
"Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
in His perfect timing and all-sufficient Grace, God has provided a third tranche of funding for the Six Learnings / Disciplinary Intuitions programme.
Extending the Six Learnings curriculum design framework and the Disciplinary Intuitions theory of learning (to give the programme its full name) will be funded by a grant worth approximately US$160,000, under the eduLab initiative between the Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Education.
if you would like your school to be involved in the scaling and translation of this programme, my team and i would be happy to make an appointment with you :-)
Call for Proposals for a session to be held at the Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society, London, 26 to 29 August 2014
This session is sponsored by the Economic Geography Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.
Geographies of making: the jazz of participatory fabrication, improvisation and hackerspaces
The Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century introduced the world to mass production and to Fordist production flows. In the late twentieth century, phenomena such as jet travel, the internet, and outsourcing prompted some pundits (eg, Friedman, 2005) to propose metaphors of a flattened world, with concomitant implications on space, geography and the (supposed) death of distance.
As our present century unfolds, technologies and socio-cultural phenomena such as the internet of things, crowd-sourcing, digital fabrication, and wearable computing are not only democratizing the potentialities of participatory design, prototyping and production, but are also becoming increasingly enmeshed with – and breathing new life into – ways of making more associated with cottage industries than with how production has been studied and understood for at least the past hundred years.
As circuits mashup with woodcraft and beadwork, as the clothes we wear identify themselves with their own unique digital signatures, and as interest-groups carve out fabricative spaces of their own across major urban centres worldwide, what might the implications to all we have studied and known about the geographies of industrialization, of industrial location, of urbanization, of regional divides be? What might some of the narratives be behind the emergence of maker cultures and hackerspaces in urban areas from Washington DC to Hong Kong?
This session proposes to tell some of these stories, and to start conversations around such implications. Papers and works-in-progress are invited, around topics and themes such as the following:
- emerging geographies of maker culture and / or hackerspaces
- personal fabrication, participatory fabrication, digital fabrication and / or 3D printing
- the implications of open-source hardware, such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, on existing geographical flows of design and production
- recasting regional divides and inequalities with respect to the potential democratizing pertubations of participatory fabrication
- craft, woodwork, weaving and apprenticeships in the early twenty-first century
Session organizer: Name: Kenneth Y T Lim
Affiliation: Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenters are kindly invited to submit their proposals to the session organizer by the 20th of February 2014. Proposals should minimally comprise the title of the paper, an abstract (of up to 150 words), and full contact details.