Updated: Feb 4, 2022
An inquiry towards anti specialisation & finding playgrounds of mixed disciplines.
Post the second wave of the pandemic,( I love how we now associate our timelines to the ongoing covid waves) a deep need to find space away from the screens for work led me into more of an existential worm hole of maybe design is not for me anymore. Maybe what I need is to move into a whole new space of exploration which would keep me more grounded in ecology & society, maybe this way I did not have to hide behind the screen for the rest of my life. I think you get the idea..
“How can you keep your curiosity well fed if you are only engaged in an echo chamber of one discipline?”
This angst of specialisation resulted in a very not required existential conundrum. Should I change career paths? Maybe a job might be better for some structure? Maybe just maybe I should leave design & art? or should I specialise further? Revisiting some of my old works made me realise that "hold up honey" what I was forgetting was my initial intention and goals before the pandemic started, the idea of trans disciplinary work. I love creating, the goal was never to let go of creating all together but was to introduce different perspectives to it, to sort of zoom out instead of zoom in.
I recall a project I did as my thesis in 2016 at design school, it was anchored in mindfullnes and its benefits and effect on mental health. This project was a collaboration of 18 young minds and it's outcome was a 3 day immersive exhibit. The entire team of explorers were from various different disciplines like film, product design, psychology, philosophy, curation and graphic design. This cross amalgamation of ideas, thoughts & perspectives is what resulted in one of my most memorable projects.
After 5 years of now working independently on mostly design projects for impact organisations, what I was craving the most was an open playground. A fertile soil to explore versatile experiences without a pressing agenda to perform. A space that allowed sharing, inquiring and exploring with people from various different backgrounds. I mean we are a part of the 21st century, why is it that we are still specialising? Curiosity is key to creativity, but how can you keep your curiosity well fed if you are only engaged in an echo chamber of one discipline?
This craving to go beyond my own discipline of design, is leading me to explore methods and ways in which we can cross pollinate and find playgrounds of explorative learning and growing, instead of having to make a decision to pivot on the grounds of angst, worry & anxiety. A larger goal is to increase community engagement and seg-way from this ever growing independent narrative. Away from seperatedness towards wholeness.
Kind of reminds me of that bit from secret lives of trees. You know how the roots of all trees in a natural habitat communicate with each other? Through a network of underground fungi called mycellium. These fungi form what they call the world wide web which enables different species of trees to interact and transfer nutrients to each other. Nothing in nature seems to exist independently so why do we think we are different? Why do we think that our professions need to be a solitary space for growth of only one kind?
The feeling of wonder & awe is something I feel we keep craving to recreate. That moment of focussed attention and no thought, is something that truly immerses us in the moment. These collection of moments is what I feel results in inspiration, creativity & insights. This experience of creativity & learning is something we innately long for and gives us the feeling of being alive. If that is so how can we restrict our learning to one discipline for the rest of our lives? Just for a monetary leverage? This may sound like a lot of brain farts, but so be it. I am just inquiring and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you know of adult playgrounds for cross disciplinary exchange for which you do not have to sell a kidney?