Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Singulars' keyword pg.1 of 1
21 MAY 2011

Communication Design: defined, standardised, professionally certified?

"So now there's yet someone else adding to the pile of what they feel is 'the' definition, when it's really just 'their' definition. I have mine, Bass has his. Rand had his. I bet Armin has his. Bierut, Scher, Danziger,, Bantjes has hers, and the list goes on an on and each definition (as well as the 'definitive' term) is always different, in semantics at least. The philosophy itself varies somewhat less, but it's no less tragic.

This should be a call, loud and clear within our industry, for certification and standardization."

(Michael Holdren, 18 April 2008, comment at Tiny Gigantic)

Holdren, M. (18 April 2008). "A comment replying to 'Communication design, the definitive definition.'" Retrieved 21 May 2011, 2011, from–design–the–definitive–definition/#comment–27369.

[Michael Holdren attacks Josh Kamler's effort to define 'communication design' as a singularly identifiable discursive field (Kamler, 17 April 2008). In doing so Holdren criticises the effort for being simply a personal definition. This is an appropriate critique given that Kamler fails to draw on available literature in the field. In his comment Holdren calls for communication design to be defined through its standardisation and professional certification. In Basil Bernstein's terms this can be understood as a call for regulation through 'strongly classified singulars'. While this might appear logical from a professional perspective both efforts must be seen as being misguided because they ignore the essential character of communication design. Both efforts are attempts to stall the process of 'disciplinary recontextualisation' which continues to form and reshape the boundaries of communication design and which provides its essential utility as a means for adapting to change.]

Kamler, J. (17 April 2008). "Communication design, the definitive definition." Retrieved 21 May 2011, 2011, from–design–the–definitive–definition/.



Armin Hofmann • certificationclassificationcommunication designdisciplinary classificationdiscourseJosh Kamler • Language in Common (website) • Louis Danziger • Marian Bantjes • Michael Bierut • Michael Holdren • mutablePaul RandPaula Scher • personal definition • porous boundariesprofessional association for designprofessional certificationrecontextualisationrecontextualisation of knowledgeregionalisation of knowledge • regionalised discourse • regulationSaul BasssingularsstandardisationTiny Gigantic (website)


Simon Perkins
06 MARCH 2011

PhD pedagogy and the changing knowledge landscapes of universities

"At the level of form and content of the knowledge produced in postgraduates' work, the supervisor, whose intellectual roots are frequently based in a singular domain characterised by horizontal knowledge structures, must acquire principles that enable them to understand the students' research problems in terms of a vertical or hierarchical knowledge structure. For example, a student may wish to contribute to insights in the domain of social aspects of urban design. The supervisor, who may be a sociologist, must find a means of integrating insights from sociology with its own nuanced conceptual language, with discourses from design associated with user centred design principles, at a level that is sufficient to guide the student through the processes of integration and recontextualisation. Thus vertical knowledge structures need to be employed by both supervisor and student to address the weakening classifications between sociology and design. Further, however, the hidden aspect of pedagogy here is that the supervisor must have a sufficient understanding at a generic level of what is required for the development of knowledge through integration to provide the student with the tools to accomplish this with respect to their own specific topic area. This is an area that receives very little attention in any of the discourses or literature around what is required of supervisors, and is a key area for further research on postgraduate pedagogy."

(Barbara Adkins, 2009, QUT ePrints)

Adkins, Barbara A. (2009) PhD pedagogy and the changing knowledge landscapes of universities. Higher Education Research and Development Journal, 28(2), pp. 165–177.


Simon Perkins
06 JANUARY 2010

Russell Group: 20 leading UK universities

"The Russell Group represents the 20 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector."

(Russell Group)

[In the UK the Russell Group represent the traditional and 'red brick' universities and the 'Million+ group' represents the new or 'Plate Glass' universities.There is a similar equivalence in Australia between the more traditional 'sandstone universities' and the 'new' or 'Post–1992 universities'.]



Simon Perkins

Singulars & Regions: Identity and Discourse

"Singulars are knowledge structures whose creators have appropriated a space to give themselves a unique name, a specialised discrete discourse with its own intellectual field of texts, practices, rules of entry, examinations, licenses to practice, distribution of rewards and punishments (physics, chemistry, history, economics, psychology, etc.). Singulars are, on the whole, narcissistic, orientated to their own development, protected by strong boundaries and hierarchies.

Regions are constructed by recontextualising singulars into larger units which operate both in the intellectual field of disciplines and in the field of external practice. Regions are the interface between disciplines (singulars) and the technologies they make possible. Thus engineering, medicine, architecture are regions. Contemporary regions would be cognitive science, management, business studies, communications and media. Regionalisation in higher education has proceeded at a rapid pace in the new universities, as any glance at their brochures will testify. Which disciplines enter a region depends upon the recontextualising principle and its social base. Thus the singulars entering medicine have expanded to include the sociology of medicine. Regionalisation as a discursive procedure threatens pedagogic cultures dominated by singulars and raises issues of legitimacy for such cultures, e.g. journalism, dance, sport, tourism, as university studies. However, changes in the reproduction of singulars from course base to modular form facilitate regionalisation. Regionalisation necessarily weakens both the autonomous discursive base and the political base of singulars and so facilitates changes in organisational structures of institutions towards greater central administrative control. The regions have, perhaps, autonomy over their contents in order to be more responsive to, more dependent upon, the market their output is serving. Increasing regionalisation of knowledge is then a good indicator of its technologising, of centralising of administrative control and of pedagogic contents recontextualised according to external regulation. Increasing regionalisation necessarily is a weakening of the strength of the classification of discourses and their entailed narcissistic identities and so a change of orientation of identity towards greater external dependency: a change from introjected to projected identities."
(Basil Bernstein 2000, p.52)

Bernstein, Basil. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.



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