Presearch is the use of design as a tool to create ideas, theories and more generally, to prototype instruments of knowledge.

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Computing Climate Change

Photographer: Markus Spiske | Source: Unsplash In my previous essay, I arrived at an unoriginal idea: that the computer is a mental telescope through which we can view the world. I didn’t say the universe is a computer because that would be really unoriginal but more importantly, because I am not interested in the universe. I […]

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The Design of Philosophy

Many people I know, thoughtful people at that, have a poor opinion about philosophy. They think it’s a has-been discipline: too many words and too little applicability. It’s a pretty short sighted view, but that view is encouraged by philosophers who hew close to the sciences. As long as philosophy is seen as a handmaiden […]

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Epistry: Fluid Knowledge

I believe we are experiencing a shift in the dominant metaphor for knowledge. In the past we talked about knowledge as a solid, with attendant concerns such as security and certainty. In the future, our dominant metaphor for knowledge will be that of a fluid, supple and adaptive. That shift will have consequences for the […]

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Education Digest

I have been writing here and there about the nature of education and how it should be transformed if we are to meet learners needs in the future. There a few themes that run through my work: equity and quality, technology and design and an orientation towards the future. However, my larger concern is not […]

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Designing Knowledge II: Books

The Culture of the Book I have a couple of thousand books in my personal library. Only lack of space and money prevents me from getting more. I have been a bibliophile from the time I was three or four, when my parents bought me my first Amar Chitra Kathas. Books were prized possessions; good books […]

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Designing Knowledge I: Circles

I will work extensively with the idea of a design pattern: a reusable, modifiable design element. Knowledge has an element of design, like every other human practice. Unfortunately, the design patterns of knowledge are so old and so universal that we don’t even realize that they are designed elements. It’s not as if the textbook — lecture — course — degree […]

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Designing Local Knowledge

Universal knowledge Let’s start with a triviality — my eyes don’t sense parts of the earth a thousand miles away from me. Instead, they sense the world directly in front of my eyes. Seems obvious isn’t it. Well, not so much if you look at philosophical accounts of knowledge or the design of universities. Universities are designed […]

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