Thursday, December 01, 2005

Perimeters, Boundaries, Borders

My study aims to demonstrate the transdisciplinary discourse evolving around the creation of genuine innovation in object type and form – a new object grammar of critical aesthetic, cultural, psychological and social possibilities through an iterative mapping process. Initially the scope of the research was considered an interdisciplinary study to build a theoretical framework to underpin new works. The research has evolved to where it has become more meaningful to use the term “transdisciplinary” to describe the nature of the interpenetration of art and design domains. The advantage of the latter is in the fact that it seems to better address practitioners that are dealing with the same issues and concerns across axiomatic boundaries. Rather than dealing with internal disciplinary issues they are examining common concerns arising out of the way objects come into being and their cultural context at this time in history and with the common tools available. There is an underpinning synthesis of vocabulary, methods and intentions which goes further than existing disciplinary paradigms. The research proposes to draw a (dotted) line around these practices as a permeable, conceptual construct to aid in understanding the broader and more complex questions being asked than any one domain can adequately address alone.

This idea of a “dotted line” is an interesting and useful one to explore. The work published to date (Marshall & Pengelly, 2005a, 2005b.) has shared the common title “Perimeters, Boundaries, Borders” – initially this was verbal shorthand, merely used to point at the fact that the research was more concerned with the lines between axiomatic domains than the domains themselves. It was recognised that to the lay person understood the title as “Border, Border, Border”. The criteria of distinction and the specific meaning of these terms of reference therefore become of great importance. A perimeter describes the outside of something, its outer extent. If one thinks of a circle the perimeter defines the edge (Can you separate the perimeter from the circle itself? Or are they one and the same?) A perimeter is of something. A boundary seems to define the same thing but from the other side – the inside (Limit perhaps? Difference between limit & extent?) It has been imposed onto something from outside. This is sketchy but seems to make some sense. In Heideggerian terms a boundary is the point where something begins its presencing (Heidegger, 1971.) – the point of distinction between the thing and everything that is not the thing. A border seems to indicate the definition of a zone between two other areas, a corridor, gateway or permeable membrane. In this sense it is more meaningful to think of this as a “harder” or more filled-in line than the other terms since distinct criteria must be met in order to cross the check-point from one side to another. This may just be metaphorical language but it may prove useful in defining terms and making distinctions between things.

Heidegger, Martin, 1971. Poetry, Language, Thought. Translated by Albert Hofstadter. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

Marshall, John & Pengelly, Jon, in Pan, Yunhe, et al. eds. 2005a. Applications of Digital Techniques in Industrial Design Engineering - CAID&CD. Beijing: International Academic Publishers/World Publishing Corporation.

Marshall, John & Pengelly, Jon, in Rodgers, Brodhurst & Hepburn eds. 2005b. Crossing Design Boundaries. London: Taylor & Francis Group.

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I am exploring a hybrid form of art and design practice through the use of computer-based design and fabrication tools. I am interested in experimental objects and spaces that are dynamic and responsive and seek to challenge perceptions, expectations and established behavior.

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