Concepts Infused in metaphor
Main Conference - Talk
Like it or loathe it, metaphor – our ability to perceive one thing through another – is a fundamental aspect of our capacity to share and comprehend abstract, complex and ambiguous concepts. Our language is peppered with metaphor; our conceptual systems are positively infused with metaphor. In short, metaphor IS our ubiquitous language. When we try to make sense of organisations, metaphor can be a powerful tool, describing many of their aspects, from structures and processes to purpose, leadership style and strategy. And as technology both creates new boundaries and blurs old ones, we use them in our tools and frameworks and sometimes even in our job titles. But how conscious are we of the metaphors we choose, or do they choose us? And how intentional are we when we apply metaphors in our designs? Regardless of role, we are all designers, and designing increasingly occupies the domain of the collective rather than the individual. For those who identify as designers, we become, in part, facilitators, eliciting answers to complex problems from the group. In this session, we’ll explore the extent to which metaphor permeates our thinking and action, whether we’re always fully cognizant of metaphors in our design processes, how we might develop a greater awareness of them and their limitations so that we can be intentional in their application in our work as designers of organisational change.
About Chris Moore
Chris is both a consultant from Thoughtworks specialising in organisational change, and a PhD candidate studying at the Royal College of Art. His research is grounded in service design and his thesis explores the use of metaphor as a design resource in organisational conversations. In this talk, Chris will share some of his research so far and present provocations for discussion.