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Communication and Understanding Using States of Mind: A Theory Based on the Open Mind

Part 2 Dissertation 2004
Aine Kelly
University for the Creative Arts Canterbury UK
Communication is one of the key skills an architect must possess so that others can understand their work. Presentation of a design idea, proposal or otherwise is something that can take place in many different ways or through various mediums.

The dissertation looks towards psychology and philosophy, and in particular Dawna Markova’s theory in her book The Open Mind, to suggest a new approach to dealing with existing flaws in how we communicate as architects. These flaws can be seen in professional practice or at architecture school, with respect to the client, a fellow colleague, the tutor or even other students.

We already know that as individuals we have our own unique ways and means of communicating and understanding. However, there are patterns that exist in the characteristics of people that suggest there may be more to these connections. Those who speak confidently and clearly in large groups, those who use diagrams or pictures to explain their thoughts, and those who use hand movement or gesture to release their words are three examples of these. Regularly the affects of a clash of characteristics can be seen; otherwise known as miscommunication.

Miscommunication can occur on two levels that are referred to as the ‘external world’ and the ‘internal world’. The external world is the surrounding environment where information passes from an individual to others in an effort to convey that information. The internal world is where information passes from the brain to the mouth or hand. It is these processes that are responsible for the success of the relay of information, a process referred to as ‘translation’. This process of translation is investigated using the conscious, subconscious and unconscious minds, dimensions determined by the speed of brain waves, namely theta, beta and alpha waves. With different thought processes occurring in each mind with different mediums of thought there lies a field to be investigated, and the dissertation presents a possible answer to optimum communication and complete understanding.

Aine Kelly


In an age when we are constantly looking for new ways to envisage, think about, and represent our creative ideas. Aine’s dissertation explores our ability to appreciate what we do with a desire to make it better. She suggests that through a greater understanding of how the creative mind receives, interprets and conveys creative design information from the conscious to the subconscious mind we may be able to develop design and teach design more successfully.
This study is the beginning of a challenge on accepted design education concepts. It explores a difficult subject and through this exploration makes a proposition for a specific research investigation which could change what we do as design educationalists, ultimately making what we do better.

2004
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