Turning differently toward learning design, and finding the real gift of slow

Main Article Content

Nicola Parkin


This paper turns toward learning design, not as a role, method, skill or even style of thinking, but as something that we are already existentially ‘in’, a lived-and-living part of teaching which is natural and arises from the places of our here-and-now situations. This way of understanding the work of learning design contradicts the prevailing position of learning design as instrumental future-work in which our faces are ever turned towards a time that is always yet-to-come. Our work is not, in the temporal sense, of itself, but always on the way to being something other than itself.  As we strive to transcend our current situation towards a greater measure of fulfilment, we are reaching always away from ourselves. Instead, we might take a stance of ‘slow’: Slow makes a space for us to encounter ourselves in practice and invites us to stay-with rather than race ahead. It begins with the quietly radical act of seeing goodness in slowness, in trusting time. Slow means finding the natural pace of our work, and takes the long-scale view that accepts into itself the many tempos and time scales in the work of learning design – including at times, the need for fast work. This paper invites you to pause and sit, to expand the moment you are already in, and to ponder philosophically, rambling across the page with notions of untangling, opening, loosening, listening, seeing, belonging pondering, sitting with and trusting. Taking time to do so is self-affirming. But perhaps the deepest gift that slow offers is choice: it opens a space for considered thought and action, and calls into question the habits and expectations of speed that we have grown so accustomed to.

Article Details

Reflective Analysis Papers


Adam, B. (2003). Reflexive modernization temporalized. Theory, Culture & Society, 20(2), 59-78.
Akama, Y. (2012). A 'Way of Being'in Design: Zen and the Art of Being a Human-Centred Practitioner. Design Philosophy Papers, 10(1), 63-80.
Akama, Y., Light, A., & Bowen, S. (2017). Mindfulness and technology: traces of a middle way. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems.
Barnett, R. (2004). Learning for an unknown future. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(1), 65-77.
Barnett, R. (2011). The coming of the ecological university. Oxford Review of Education, 37(4), 439-455.
Bennett, S., Agostinho, S., & Lockyer, L. (2016). The process of designing for learning: understanding university teachers’ design work. Educational Technology Research and Development, 1-21.
Bennett, S., Thomas, L., Agostinho, S., Lockyer, L., Jones, J., & Harper, B. (2011). Understanding the design context for Australian university teachers: Implications for the future of learning design. Learning, Media and Technology, 36(2), 151-167.
Bird, J., Morgan, C., & O'Reilly, M. (2007). Exploring the tensions in educational and instructional design in Australian universities. Instructional design: Case studies in communities of practice, 19-35.
Boulous Walker, M. (2016). Slow Philosophy: Reading Against the Institution: Bloomsbury Publishing.
Buttimer, A., & Seamon, D. (2015). The human experience of space and place: Routledge.
Carp, J. (2012). The study of slow. Collaborative resilience: moving through crisis to opportunity, 99-125.
Clegg, S. (2010). Time future-the dominant discourse of higher education. Time & Society, 19(3), 345-364.
Connell, R. (2013). The neoliberal cascade and education: An essay on the market agenda and its consequences. Critical Studies in Education, 54(2), 99-112.
Dorst, K. (2015). Frame Innovation: Create New Thinking by Design: MIT Press.
Fuad-Luke, A. (2007). Reflection, Consciousness, Progress: Creatively Slow Designing the Present.
Goodyear, P., Salmon, G., Spector, J. M., Steeples, C., & Tickner, S. (2001). Competences for online teaching: A special report. Educational Technology Research and Development, 49(1), 65-72.
Greene, M. (1992). From thoughtfulness to critique: The teaching connection. Paper presented at the Critical Thinking: Implications for Teaching and Teachers (Proceedings from the 1991 Conference).–Montclair: Institute for Critical Thinking.
Gregory, S. A. (1966). Design and the design method. In The design method (pp. 3-10): Springer.
Hodgson, N., Vlieghe, J., & Zamojski, P. (2018). Education and the Love for the World: articulating a post-critical educational philosophy. Foro de Educación, 16(24), 7-20.
Honoré, C. (2004). In praise of slowness: How a worldwide movement is challenging the cult of speed: Harper Collins.
Irwin, T. (2015). Transition Design: A Proposal for a New Area of Design Practice, Study, and Research. Design and Culture, 7(2), 229-246.
Konstantinou, E., & Müller, R. (2016). The role of philosophy in project management. Project Management Journal, 47(3), 3-11.
Löwgren, J., & Stolterman, E. (2004). Thoughtful interaction design: A design perspective on information technology.
Magliaro, S. G., & Shambaugh, R. N. (2005). Teachers’ personal models of instructional design. Advances in Research on Teaching, 11, 101-134.
Mazé, R. (2014). The Future is Not Empty: Design imaginaries and design determinisms. Paper presented at the Oxford Futures Forum, May 2014, Oxford.
Mor, Y., & Craft, B. (2012). Learning design: reflections upon the current landscape. Research in learning technology, 20.
Mountz, A., Bonds, A., Mansfield, B., Loyd, J., Hyndman, J., Walton-Roberts, M., . . . Hamilton, T. (2015). For slow scholarship: A feminist politics of resistance through collective action in the neoliberal university. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 14(4), 1235-1259.
Needleman, J. (2003). Time and the soul: where has all the meaningful time gone--and can we get it back? : Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
O'Toole, R. (2015). Fit, stick, spread and grow: transdisciplinary studies of design thinking for the [re] making of higher education. University of Warwick,
Oberski, I., & McNally, J. (2007). Holism in teacher development: A Goethean perspective. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(6), 935-943.
Ochsner, J. K. (2000). Behind the mask: a psychoanalytic perspective on interaction in the design studio. Journal of Architectural Education, 53(4), 194-206.
Ramsden, P. (1998). Managing the effective university. Higher Education Research & Development, 17(3), 347-370.
Rowland, G. (1993). Designing and instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41(1), 79-91.
Ryn, S. V. d., & Cowan, S. (1996). Ecological design. Washington: Island Press, sayfa, 121, 31.
Saad-Sulonen, J. E., Eva; Halskov, Kim; Karasti, Helena; Vines, John. (2018). Unfolding participation over time: temporal lenses in participatory design. CoDesign, 14(1), 4-16.
Schön, D. A. (1992). Designing as reflective conversation with the materials of a design situation. Research in Engineering Design, 3(3), 131-147.
Segal, S., & Jankelson, C. (2016). Face to Face with Practice: Existential Forms of Research for Management Inquiry: Routledge.
Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional design: Wiley New York.
Snodgrass, A. (2001). Random thoughts on the way: The architecture of excursion and return. Architectural Theory Review, 6(1), 1-15.
Snodgrass, A., & Coyne, R. (1996). Is designing hermeneutical? Architectural Theory Review, 2(1), 65-97.
Stolterman, E. (2008). The nature of design practice and implications for interaction design research. International Journal of Design, 2(1), 55-65.
Strauss, C., & Fuad-Luke, A. (2008). The Slow Design Principles. Proceedings of Changing the Change.
Tonkinwise, C. (2003). Interminable design: Techne and time in the design of sustainable service systems. 5th European Academy of Design, Barcelona, Spain.
Tonkinwise, C. (2005). Is Design Finished?: Dematerialisation and Changing Things. Design Philosophy Papers, 3(2), 99-117.