JC-Learning « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn


It is always hard to analysis learning when you are in the middle of the process. I have tried this during Designing Dublin, ‘Love the City’ and find it very difficult, design thinking is differant. Nevertheless, there are some identifable outcome for me.

I know now that i can work outside my comfort zone in an environment that is alien to me. I feel i can take on challanges and work in areas where the answers are less than obvious. There is a challange in this process to design questions to facilitate others to answer, rather than us/me, supplying the answer. I feel this is real empowerment.

In designing these questions we ask, ask, ask and then we question, question, question. When we reach a conclusion, have an answer, we then question the conclusion, time and time again.

I have also learned to challange my fears by using them to my advantage, to challange myself. My fears ask me questions that are not asked of me elswhere and this enriches me substantially, as i am driven to find the answers. My fears have become my best friend.

I also feel i am much better at listening to what people mean as opposed to what they say. The sub text!

I have also learned how people love their city but feel distant from planners and decision makers.

We have had some inspirational speaker including Jean Byrne, Paul and Kristian, Mark O’Halloran, Maser the graffiti artist, amongst others.

There is also the unexpected popping up on a daily basis, most of us are used to this happening occasionally but not daily, yet it happens here and is dealth with effectively. This particular area is very similiar to working in DCC, which is not as distant from ‘Love The city’ as we might think. On a daily basis i will deal with the unexpected, unknown and follow paths that are not as defined as we might expect. There are also problems that crop up, with no obvious outcome, where  myself and other s in DCC will be tasked with finding solutions. The differance here is that no problem is allowed to stand in the way and this would be differant in the public (And private) sector. Obstactles are seen as challanges by all in ‘Love the City’ rather than by the few in the public sector.

The Tool Box; Often we see a tool box as something full of metal or wooden tool, physical tools to enable us to carry out a task. There are other tools and in another sense, a differant type of tool box.

We need to look at ourselves as a tool-box and the skills we have developed as the tools. Our growth as re-stocking, maybe new or improved tools.

In this process, the new or improved tools i acquired are; An ability to identify a problem-Investigate it-Generate ideas and design a process to hhelpor enable the solving of this problem. These are powerful tools and while i would have had some skills in this area, i now have a much higher spec tool-kit.

Jean Byrne quoted a piece of advice-Know what you know and be confident with what you know. This is very powerful. Im not so sure i fully know what i knw but i am sure i know a lot more than i did this time last year. what i am sure about is that i am confident about what i know even if i can fully identify it at the moment.

This will entail some reflexion on my part over the next few months.

The benifit of collective positivity is very obvious in this process and how it is able to climb over adversity. I would love to see a new Ireland, a new economy, based on this principle, it is very entrapenureal in that money is not as important as the challange. Obstactles are overcome by the resources of creativity.

The Designing Dublin process ‘Love The City’ is differant to other learning inititives in that it challanges your thinking in a way that no other process could or would. To be fair, it also challanges the tutors alongside us as we grow together.

The next step is to take this learning and use it to create or work in a business environment.

I agree with Jean, its about Showing, Learning and then us teaching, this is what Vanessa has done, so its up to us/me to carry this out by passing it on. At the same time remembering that a good teacher is always learning.

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