An Online Design Journey of

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The Mind-Book

Albert Einstein

The only source of knowledge is experience.

Albert Einstein

Design Learning

Scope of Application

Design Journey


In order to make visible and embody concepts we need to give them a concrete context, a place to become real. The mind-book is a designerly metaphor of a basic container, where to hold and display the contents of one's mind. The ability to abstract is a characteristic of human consciousness. Because of that ability we make use of mental representations, symbols and information. The mind-book is a low-tech design visualization tool, that offers a context where to make visible our own meaningful connections, and where we can create new knowledge by playing with visual and verbal symbols. It focuses on the process of learning-by-doing, that is shaped by one's personal interest, needs and goals.

Design is a potentiality that characterizes each human being, that manifests itself in the invention of new social practices -be they products, services, artifacts and/or trends. From this perspective, we are all designers, as we continuously make decisions that shape our own realities/futures, and those of others. As an experiential thinking technique, the mind-book opens a self-discovery process where it is impossible to make mistakes, because our focus is on the thinking process, rather than on final results. By combining intentional disposition and associative receptivity, the mind-book is at once synergetic and emergent. As such, it can give rise to startling insights, it can help surface life-patterns, and it can heighten awareness of one's own creative dynamic.

The mind-book can be related to computer literacy and design education, and it is complementary with other techniques of learning and evaluation. The mind-book can be integrated to any on-going learning, creative and/or therapeutic process, in formal or informal settings. For students, the mind-book is a hands-on thinking tool to explore their imagination, and include their personal perspectives and cultural preferences, within a learning-by-doing environment. For teachers, the mind-book is a visualization method to evaluate the students' learning process, and assist them to accomplish a more complex understanding by building from their own performances.

What is a mind-book for?

  • Play with the imagination
  • Tell your story
  • Work on your ideas
  • Make meaningful connections
  • Envision your future
  • Set up goals
  • Drive your intentions
  • Speak your mind
  • Share your thoughts
  • Give voice to your dreams
  • Manifest your visions
  • Create new memories
  • Explore (new) fields of knowledge
  • Learn about yourself
  • Find out what matters to you
  • Make familiar the unknown
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© Silvia Austerlic 2001