In his classic text The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, Donald Schön, Philosopher and Professor of Urban Studies, proposed that creating new frames for practice demands ‘reflection-in-action’, a kind of experimentation that opens a window on the limits of current thinking and practice.
Ben Halpern writes in the prologue to his project, Constructing Panorama: Vision, views and the non-visible, that our visual frames shape our lived experience of space, and like the Panorama they also conceal. As philosopher Bruno Latour points out, “it’s this excess of coherence that gives the illusion away.” The practice of design is to first unpack what’s presented to us as a simple vision of things.
Sometimes the very idea of innovation and what it is to change need to be challenged and reframed – innovation in business, design and architecture is often mistaken for the revolutionary and heroic. Changing place, beginning with the building of nothing, as proposed by Esther Frimpong and Zena Moore’s project PIC, uses data and the simple device of the smartphone to redistribute space. PIC is a small deviation from the norm that simply makes us see space differently. It’s architecture and design as a de-materialised practice.