Learning Designs as objects

Revisiting a paper I read a few years ago by Miles Ogborn made me wonder if some of the perspectives he adopts in exploring how ‘writing travels’ may help inform our conceptualisation of the making and movement of learning designs. As Miles notes ‘this would mean attending to their different modes of ‘travel’ in terms of the social relations that are constituted around and through these inscriptions as they are made, made mobile, transferred, and make the world.”

Looking at the constitutive role of learning designs as objects could therefore offer new insights. This sees designs as not just representations, but as artefacts in their own right. Just like playing ‘follow-the-lady’ with a street trickster, this is about watching the design object(s); how it moves, when it appears, disappears and re-appears, and the social and cultural context it travels within. This potentially makes more complex the way in which we study how other designers understand and take meaning from designs and about how, of if, one representation really does follow another during the design process.

Ogborn, M. (2002) ‘Writing travels: power, knowledge and ritual on the English East India Company’s early voyages’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, p155-171

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