Wednesday, February 22, 2017

paths in the grass: a visual metaphor for virtual architecture

This image from my PhD thesis uses a minimal stereotyped image of a college campus as a visual metaphor to describe a space of emergent learning.  This idea is expanded upon in the "Patterns of Peeragogy" paper, which uses a similar metaphor:
This image is of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I've been several times.  It still looks somewhat similar to the picture, though a bit more built up!

The concept here is that the common-place architectural structures that have emerged at the university represent meaningful "patterns" that apply in more general learning-and-production settings.
Collegial and convivial peer support via remote collaboration or short-term meet-ups may fill some of the requirements of “student life”. Peeragogy can also happen in neighborhoods, and among persons sharing long-term co-habitation. While a traditional Dormitory may not be necessary, a shared rented or cooperatively-owned living/working environment could be an asset for peeragogues working together on A SPECIFIC PROJECT (Figure 7).
Here I'd like to draw attention to the "Quad", an in some sense under-determined physical space that sits in the "middle" of the various already-emerged architectural features.  Although it has some meaning relative to those features, and is not simply an empty space, it is also something of a blank slate, on which traces of momentary action and interaction may be temporarily observed.  Sometimes these structures will thicken into new structures, for example new buildings or paved-over paths.  As a campus (or city, or other social structure) becomes more developed, these "patterns" become increasingly solid.  Even a formerly blank slate becomes constrained (e.g., in its definition as a "common space").
I propose that some version of the first set of images above could be used to organise the existing posts on this blog and our ancillary writings, e.g., using CMap Tools, so that we get a high-level view of the structure that has emerged here.

The "Context/Nonlinear/Feedback/Metalearning/Roadmap" framework should be "harmonised" with Dan Harmon's outline and the Aboriginal yarning framework described previously.  We could use a "4-up" framework to wind a longer "rope" of meanings out of the various threads that have developed here so far.

I think that this sort of "emerged" outline would be very useful for subsequent writing projects -- it would complement the more rigid frameworks that come from Harmon et al.

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