Variation, multifoldness and dynamics as the mothers of learning, universality and design
As the first keynote speaker of the conference, Bodil Jönsson will welcome us to Lund, to Certec and to the Department of Design Sciences. She is one of the main reasons that Certec has such a strong focus on the participation of users and empowerment. Here is the introduction to her keynote presentation:
It is a sincere privilege and at the same time a joyful task to be the first keynote speaker of UD 2014. Throughout the lecture, I will welcome you not only to Lund University and our Design Centre but also to the founding spirit of the conference’s key host, Certec. A background is provided in the book, Design Side by Side.
We all know that it is possible to learn through both repetition and variation. The differences between the effects of the two may be small in the short term, but they are significant in the long term. So are the differences between universality that is achieved through norms, and universality that is achieved through multifoldness. And so are the differences between design regarded as a finite process ending up in an infrastructure or a product, and design regarded as an infinite process that includes actions and using in the very moment. Different actors/users utilize their existing perceived spaces for improvisation in different ways. Design (including universal design) influences the degree of perceived user helplessness as opposite to the habit of being fortunate as an actor. Both may be strengthened or undermined, resulting in longitudinal changes of self-images. Design is never neutral, nor are its effects on human existence and behavior. This deserves attention and recognition in the universal design context.
Bodil Jönsson, professor emerita
Bodil Jönsson’s first scientific background was in physics. She was the initiator of Certec and its first professor. As head of research, she contributed significantly to its theory and methodology. Her own main interest was in concept design: design that gives shape to thought, and to technology as the realization of thoughts. And to how design and technology, when they come together, steer the thoughts we can think and the lives we can live. She was especially involved in accessibility for people with cognitive limitations. After her retirement 2009, Bodil Jönsson has been recognized as one of the Swedish front figures in revealing the differences between getting old today compared to getting old only a generation ago. One of her ongoing university related contributions in this context is “Mission Knowledge”, http://missionknowledge.se/.
Bodil Jönsson has received a number of prizes and awards, the latest is the 2013 gold medal of The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA.