The Unorthodox PhD

This is the raw version of my thesis, which I changed quite a bit after I got the feedback that it’s a bit too creative and wild. Both versions are fully written. This one is more eclectic and transdisciplinary, the other is more orthodox and less complex (see other version here).

TITLE
Creativity Unbound: Parables of Co-Creative Process Under The Premise to Open Everything

ABSTRACT
This thesis examines the intersection of social technology and open storytelling. At its core is what drives experimental co-creation among creative entrepreneurs. Open storytelling is a field of interactive arts that seeks new methods and contexts for co-creation. Opening access raises questions around promises and discomforts of such seemingly unplannable co-production. A central theme is self-organization through performance and exchange. The core problem is: How does a focus on innovating process shape the way individuals approach life and work? Answers can be found in this ethnographic case on the design and performance values expressed by members of the Reboot collective. Reboot attracts collaborators, who come to learn, imagine, do and share.

Each chapter indicates a field of tension in which principles of co-creation are discussed and evidenced by practice and design examples. Chapter B takes [play/labour] as a framework and looks at civic engagement and project organization (learn). In chapter C, the bracket [discipline/affect] offers a view on aesthetic reasoning through the principles passion and empathy (imagine). In chapter D, the bracket [story design/performativity] highlights principles of incompleteness and synaesthetic mimesis, poiesis and kinesis (do). In chapter E, the bracket [potential space/affordance] delineates community cultivation and project-based co-entrepreneurship (share). At a meta-level, five axioms can be derived: (a) practices corroborate synaesthetic reasoning to make sense of the digitized world; (b) activities are situational and ephemeral, defying systemic stabilization; (c) online and offline practices open up an omnidextrous third space through which techniques flow across from one domain to the other; (d) if constraints are not outside the body they come from inside (self-discipline) and in-between (empathy); (e) incomplete designs invite engagement.

As a theoretic framework, the author develops a dyad concept drawing on Kress and Leeuwen’s multimodality and Lury et al. and Lash’s notion of topology. Her methodology uses a rigorous and multi-layered activity research design, which adds new perspectives to current academic practices in media and design ethnography. Spanning media, arts, design, social sciences, cultural studies and anthropology, the thesis is placed amongst – and adds rich insights – to current debates on human activity in socio-technical environments.

CONTENT

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// INTRODUCTION
1. A QUESTION OF DEVIANCE AND PASSION?
2. WHAT’S AT STAKE: CO-CREATION
2.1 Reboot Creativity
2.2 Creativity as Play
2.3 Creativity as Remix
2.4 A Taxonomy of Co-Creativity
2.5 Co-creativity is Emergent
3. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK: THE 3RD SPACE OF CULTURAL TOPOLOGY
3.1 Considering Design and Process
3.2 Cultural Topology
3.3 Topology as Abstract Language
3.4 A Fledgling Pattern Language
3.5 Style and Reflexivity in a Topological Approach
4. PLACEMENT AND SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

// LEARN – Subversive Play: Free Labour as Civic Engagement
1. INTRODUCTION
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Pervasive Play and Free Labour
2.2 Serious Play and Experiential Learning
3. SUBVERTING NORMS THROUGH INFINITE PLAY
3.1 Principle 1 – Deviate: Disruption and Intervention
3.1.1 Trad-Schooling
3.1.2 Alt-schooling
3.2 Principle 2 – Improvise: Speculation and Grit
3.2.1 Contingency
3.2.2 Complexity
3.3 Principle 3 – Augment: Iterate and Transform
3.3.1 Prototypes
3.3.2 Dehabituation
4. PLAYING REALITY
5. CONCLUSION

// IMAGINE – Affective Reasoning: Heuristic Sense- And Decision-Making Through Empathy And Passion
1. INTRODUCTION
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Affect
2.2 Self-Discipline
2.3. Between Affect and Discipline
3. SENSE-MAKING: NAVIGATING THE SOCIAL IMAGINARY THROUGH EMPATHY
3.1 From Meme to Theme
3.2 Conceptual Language
3.3 Balancing Literal And Associative
3.4 Empathy As Compass
4. DECISION-MAKING: HARNESSING PASSION
4.1 “Choosing” Intensive Engagement
4.2 Hurdling the Arduousness of Self-Discipline
4.2.1 Deep Affect: The Personally Meaningful
4.2.2 Fleeting Affect: Collective Momentum
4.3 The Power of Oscillating Discipline and Affect
5. CONCLUSION

// DO – Performative Storytelling: Narrative Design As A Purposeful Utility
1. INTRODUCTION.
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Performativity
2.2 Purposeful Storytelling
2.3 Design
2.4 Narrative Design as Performative Agency
3. APPLIED PRINCIPLES: USING STORY TO “DESIGN WITH AND FOR”
3.1 Focus on Poiesis: Incomplete By Design
3.1.1 Science-Fiction, Otherness and Imagination
3.1.2 Story Beats
3.2 Focus on Kinesis: Intervention by Design
3.2.1 Messiness
3.2.2 Hacking
3.3 Focus on Mimesis: Appropriation
3.3.1 Transportation and Transformation
3.3.2 Declining Performativity?
4. CONCLUSION: OPEN STORIES AS PERFORMATIVE INTERVENTIONS

// SHARE – Community Cultivation: Co-Entrepreneurship By Affording Project-based Micro-Businesses
1. INTRODUCTION
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Potential Space
2.2 Commons-Based Peer Production
2.3 Affording A Common Potential Space
3. PRIMARY PRINCIPLES: FRANCHISING AND INCUBATING
3.1 Franchise: Network and Change over Income
3.2 Incubation: Social Good over Monetization
4. SECONDARY PRINCIPLES: SHARING AS CO-ENTREPREUNEURS
4.1 Power Share: Letting Go of Control (Individual)
4.2 Goal Share: Balancing Self-interest & Commonality (Collaborative)
4.3 Skill Share: Lending Talent (Collaborative)
4.4 Knowledge Share: Circulating Assets (Public)
5. SCALING AND BRANDING POTENTIAL: A TRIPLE BIND
6. CONCLUSION

// CONCLUSION – Learn, Do, Imagine, Share: Towards A Collaboration Methodology
1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Recap Cardinal Principle 1: Learning
1.2 Recap Cardinal Principle 2: Imagining
1.3 Recap Cardinal Principle 3: Doing
1.4 Recap Cardinal Principle 4: Sharing
2. ON DESIGN, AESTHETICS AND ROMANTICISM
3. OPPORTUNITIES FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

Tags: outside the box, design fiction, purposeful play, participatory storytelling, design thinking, media ethnography, new media, new commons, indie punks, share culture, networked economy, collaboration, co-creation, experiential learning, liminal threshold, activity based learning, DIY, peer production, social innovation, artistic research, digital boheme, crowdsourcing, crowdsharing, social experiences, agile management, social entrepreneurship, collaborative entrepreneurship, Gen Flux, creative entrepreneurship, media commons, labeling, digital humanities, human-centered design, storification, avant-garde