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Liminal point: reclaiming the significance of ritual through design proposal for the restorative experiece
University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Interdisciplinary Studies (IS).
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

The emerging field of experience design positions the aspect of time in the center of its interest.

Thomas Scheff in his book “Catharsis in Healing, Ritual and Drama” argues that modern western societies are being characterized by the process of ‘deritualization’.

The notion of ritual, which essence underlies in symbolic (inter)action in specifically arranged time-space conditions, looses its relevance in contemporary secular societies . This disappearing value, in the past used to be constituted by rituals’ positive impact on maintaining and consolidating social relationships and efficiency in dealing with emotional fluctuations. The routinized behaviors extinguish the sacredness , suspension or transition of time, formerly upheld by symbolic enactments.

The poverty of symbolic methods for getting along with sometimes polarized affections and in many cases developed as codes for communicating them, causes an emotional repression and blockage of distress. Thus, this research focuses particularly on these rites which have an aim in restoring the emotional balance. Depending on culture and system of belief they have been described as purifying, transforming or restoring.

The ritual sense is being communicated through symbolic behaviours. These usually involve specifically designed and developed items, settings and gestures. The ritual’s dualism is constituted by in one hand a transcendental (symbolic) dimension and on the other material, social, psychological and behavioural sphere. The later one seems to be accessible for the design methodology. In this thesis I will speculate whether rituals can exist without being anchored in certain belief, so in secular dimension only.

The question I address in my theoretical and practical studies is whether experience design can derive advantages from ritual studies in order to reclaim the positive role of rites in secular context. Thus, the immersive research into methods and constructions of transformative and restoring rituals across cultures, communities and religions, with its particular focus on time structure, let me understand better how the time-space arrangement and choreography it always establishes, can be possibly seen from, studied by and adapted into the the design realm.

The conclusions from theoretical research have their extensions in practice. The practical implementation of knowledge developed throughout theoretical research period and the practice-based interventions, aims in establishing conditions for time-based experience of self-reflection and self-expression (introspection and extrospection). The final project while abandoning the divine layer, focuses on secular aspects of transformative ritual. Its form and arrangement results from analysis and studies of common aspects and methods existing across various traditions.

The designed installation in its practical dimension combines elements of architecture, performance and interaction (sound) design. The setting is intended to function in a public space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Konstfack, Institutionen för interdisciplinära studier , 2009. , 73 p.
Series
Uppsats : IS : Magister / Master 2009
Keyword [sv]
Ritualer
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:konstfack:diva-2860OAI: oai:DiVA.org:konstfack-2860DiVA: diva2:418643
Educational program
Experience Design (Master)
Uppsok
Fine Art
Note

EDG, Experience Design Group

Available from: 2011-05-23 Created: 2011-05-23 Last updated: 2012-09-10Bibliographically approved

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  • apa
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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