When you work across the disciplinary grain, you expose yourself to recurrent questions about who you are, what clan you belong to, and do you have a license to practice? Often times, the best answer is to make up a discipline of your own. My current favorite is Knowledge Design. Earlier this year, at a Rice University symposium on Emerging Disciplines, I tried it on for size with the
Knowledge Design (= KD) is an unidentified disciplinary object that has been seen by a few observers of the contemporary scholarly scene. The cohort of true believers in KD, once a small but dedicated group associated with the art/technology, counterculture/cyberculture criss-crossings of the late 1960s, has grown thanks to the digital turn of the past few decades. True believers describe KD as the field of experimentation that arises when the well-oiled machinery of print culture finds itself jammed by a volatile intermedia mix with the consequence that the
form that knowledge assumes can no longer be considered a given. Knowledge-making and knowledge-design become radically intertwined endeavors. Most cool-headed observers doubt the field’s existence (or, if it does exist, would prefer that it become the business of Schools of Education).
If you want to read the non-extemporaneous first half of the talk, click here.