Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in workshop, seminar, course
Innovation from Tradition:
“Innovation from Tradition is a new approach to creative production that includes the past in the creation of present and future opportunities, particularly in terms of new ideas and industries”
- Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam, 2016
“Socially, everything is just inventions and imitations.”
- Gabriel Tarde, 1890 , p. 3.
Winter School 2017 is an exploration of the power of “social design” to engage and collaborate with citizens, to explore the potential inherent in communal traditions and the role of designers as innovators in the service of wider society. Participants will explore innovation as a collaborative process, compare differing cultural and methodological approaches to design-led research, and evaluate their efforts within the context of an international community of scholars. Here designers will seek to explore and share methods that allow the shared understandings of everyday life, tradition, to be considered as a material that can lend itself to design and innovation.
The accumulated beliefs, values, behaviours and stories that the present inherits from the past in the form of cultural tradition shapes the identities, activities and material culture within which we live today. These “ways of doing,” of talking, teaching, dancing, cooking, eating, making, sharing, owning, fighting, punishing and burying exist because we participate in them, and so animate them. They give form to life, experiential and artefactual, which is historically derived and, therefore, meaningful to us: however, these traditional forms are also open to innovation.
Engagements or interventions by designers, in collaboration with communities, social groups and cultural producers offer the opportunity to innovate these traditions, to construct a moment of dialogue and reflection through conversation, which creates the possibility of deliberate innovation that acknowledges the requirements and ambitions of the bearers of these traditions. Fundamental to such collaborative engagement is the understanding that traditions are owned communally, they exist because people inhabit and perform them, and there is an ethical responsibility for designers to reflect this in their practice and approach.
Winter School 2017 will see students engage with both cultural and economic groups and associations from across the Highlands (in particular Moray and Speyside) to identify collaboratively opportunities for such innovation from tradition. Such interventions and the innovations that they facilitate should be aimed at improving the quality of life of the group’s members, whether economically, socially or aesthetically. In this sense, the design interventions will be offered to the citizen participants for their critique and response via an exhibition of the proposed innovations on Thursday 26th.
I did a master class in codesign, supervised students etc.