Bodystorming revisited…

I did a post about this waaayyy back. But thanks to Ron for reminding me to revisit..it seems to have close links with embodied learning? (I hadn’t even spotted that before today!).
Here’s a new reference to it….
http://www.informl.com/2009/07/31/bodystorming/
Jay learnt about it from the Overlap conference – which also places emphasis on the relationship between Practice, Prototype and PLAY! Fabulous!
In this article by Dennis J Schleicher Jr, there’s a clear explanation of bodystorming as a design technique in which you are situated. You need to situate yourself either in the real physical or social space for which something is to be design…..or otherwise in a simulated physical or social space (e.g. mock-up a space, role-play a situation)…..This is an lovely way of designing and I agree with it whole-heartedly, but I think it also contrasts with my current focus which is situating yourself for non-situation specific thought…I suppose then the question is – what do I mean, does that exist? Is there such a thing? Hmm, what I mean is that in bodystorming, you assume that you will instinctively work with the boundaries and constraints implicit in the evironment you’re designing for…and if this isn’t often done then we should be doing more of it! But when we’re trying to think beyond the everyday, to challenge current thought and practice, and break some of the boundaries then perhaps we have to try to designing and reflecting in more unusual spaces…? Perhaps that’s counterproductive…we can’t extract life from our thought processess….I suppose it’s mainly just about challenging norms…saying – well is it that cash-register that needs to be redesigned in this shop? Or is it the shop that needs to be resdesigned and should we be trying to dream of a whole new way of paying? But then I’m sure that there are ways to bodystorm that too, so I think I’m still not getting at my point..
I’m thinking more of of spaces that are somehow more neutral – in which the focus is on the body alone (like perhaps an artists’ studio…or a dance studio? in which the movement of the brush and the movemet of the body are all that matter, and the space is only there to facilitate that…and it’s movement to solve a problem or illicit new ideas..where the ENVIRONMENT is no longer very important – where you lose yourself to your internal feelings..yes I think that’s perhaps it – more like meditation…more inward looking, more concerned with tapping into your own bodies’ intelligence rather than the intelligence of the space and the people around you….when I say the intelligence of the space I mean the values embedded and designed into the space…..
so rather than “user-centred design” – many options offered here thanks to Anne, I suppose what I’m talking about is a thought process that is entirely reflective, and does not involve others..it is about finding out what you really think and making learning personally meaningful to YOU. WOW didn’t realise the reflective learning exercises I did had made such an impact on me! Or maybe it’s both – it’s being aware that our lived environment offers us many ways to think and reflect and learn, independently and collaboratively, and that we must get out there and make use of that, and find ways to get ourselves out there, not whole ourselves up….and maybe also we need to find technology that supports and records these kinds of experiences or facilitates in some way……
Of course this kind of negates the need for enchanted spaces – or rather it recognises the importance of space for doing certain things…but these kinds of activities are more meditative than about engaging and involving the learners’ curiosity…and I’m interested in that too – and about somehow turning the learners’ everyday world into an enchanted space…for them to see their everyday world as a place full of amazingness and wonder and that is important…and significant…

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