Saturday, June 28, 2008

Well, THAT Didn't Work...

As Robert Burns reminds us, the best laid plans o' mice and men gang aft agley, and lea' us naught but pain and grief for promis'd joy.

My thought was that I'd knock out 15 or 20 minutes of blogging at the end of each day of my Cranbrook (Thurs-Fri-Sat) and CUR (Sun-Mon-Tue) adventures. But instead, I ended up connecting with old friends and making new ones until midnight or later every night, and getting up at 5:30 or so the next morning to prep for the day, and I didn't have 15 or 20 minutes left in me.

I think this is a good thing.

I can say that the Cranbrook conference was easily the highlight of my academic year. I was part of a remarkable team of young scholars, and facilitated a conversation in which we did the inductive work of examining our own experiences for common themes. I'll post more about some of those after a bit (sure you will, Herb...), but I wanted to say here that we worked ourselves into a position where we believed that rather than teaching a skill set, design faculty need to be fostering a mindset.

Here's another thing that arose. We had started to agree that innovation was a change that had been adopted by a community and had become the base for future work. But that retrospective attribution, the idea that we can only recognize innovation after the fact and through its acceptance, implies that innovation is not a verb. Maybe we can't meaningfully say that we “innovate,” but only that some action is later seen to have been “innovative.” And if we can’t innovate, then we can’t teach anyone else how to innovate, either.

Anyway, I'm on a writing vacation this coming week, so I think I'll be somewhat more blog-active than I was last week. See you soon.

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