- This 27th May event was run by Kyung Hee University and Seoul National University
- It was inspired by recent international events that raise the question of paradigm change.
- It included a creativity experiment that compared top-down and bottom-up approaches.
If we are to avoid the worst climate change scenarios the average person’s lifestyle must change. This amounts to a paradigm change because we may not be able to do this by making small, disconnected improvements. Designers are usually employed as specialist, small-part players in the system. This means they cannot achieve their full potential in this process. This conference will ask whether metadesign methods can help designers to make the world a safer, saner place. Some theories will be matched to activities in a workshop.
According to (Meadows (1995) government methods (setting targets, taxation, legislation, rhetorical calls to action, etc.) are too abstract and remote to make a step change . This is because paradigms are made up of subcomponents that are entangled and co-dependent. The theories and habits that sustain them are informed by a rich web of tacit assumptions, beliefs and desires.
Today, 'open source' or social networking technologies make grassroots activism and local initiatives easier to manage. However, although they may be able to address local realities in a more direct, practical way they may lack the resources and experience of government.
An ideal society would probably harmonize government agendas with the best bottom-up initiatives. One reason why this does not always happen may be the language problem. Where 'top-down' logic tends to be rhetorical and strategic, bottom-up initiatives usually develop in a more organic, ad hoc way. This usually means that their discussions and beliefs emerge in a less explicit and predictable form. These language differences can make bottom-up and top-down systems seem less compatible than they really are. This conference asks whether we need a new methodological framework that would help designers to broker new possibilities between top-down and bottom-up approaches. Metadesign approaches might, for example, seek new and beneficial synergies that are hidden between top-down and bottom-up systems.