which is a project-oriented toolkit for theory-based reflection and study. It is a major outcome of the Activity U project because it connected the following two theoretical approaches of Activity Theory and offers a series of tools for practitioners.
The Activity System Model (Yrjö Engeström, 1987)
Activity as Formation of Concept (Andy Blunden, 2010, 2012, 2014)
Originally, I used “Project Engagement” as the name of Part 3 of the book Project-oriented Activity Theory and it refers to a set of my ideas for expanding Andy Blunden’s original approach about Project as a unit of analysis of Activity and Activity as Formation of Concept. The most important difference between Blunden’s original approach and my interpretation is that his vision is developing a general interdisciplinary theory of Activity as a meta-theory. However, my vision is to adopt his meta-theory and develop some frameworks and models for practical studies. You can find more details
In 2021, I moved in the direction of supporting knowledge workers and creators. I realized that the Project Engagement Toolkit has significance for practitioners. It is not a pure application of Activity Theory.
. This experience encouraged me to pay attention to the “Practitioners First” perspective.
Later, I started designing some toolkits, canvases, and developmental service programs. This type of activity of “Connecting Theory and Practice” was the primary theme of the first season of my 2022.
Thing: What’s the insight about? Why do I pay attention to it?
Originally, I used “Project Engagement” as the name of Part 3 of the book Project-oriented Activity Theory and it refers to a set of my own ideas for expanding Andy Blunden’s original approach about Project as a unit of analysis of Activity and Activity as Formation of Concept.
In 2021, I moved in the direction of supporting knowledge workers and creators. I realized that the Project Engagement Toolkit has its own significance for practitioners. It is not a pure application of Activity Theory.
, I discussed my “Project” thematic space and highlighted the following three points:
First, the Developmental Project Model is an independent framework.
Second, there is a concept called Projectivity behind the module 4 Zone of Project and the module 5 Developmental Project Model.
Third, I also adopted Howard E. Gruber’s Evolving Systems Approach to the study of Creative Work (1974,1989) for module 6.
Originally, the Project Engagement toolkit was born from the work of Project-oriented Activity Theory. Now, it is an instrument for practitioners.
The Life-as-Project approach continuously expands my “Project” thematic space.
The Life-as-Project Approach is a “Project-centered” approach. I don’t have to remain within the framework of Activity Theory. Now, I can adopt Howard E. Gruber’s the evolving systems approach to the study of creative work (1974,1989) for the approach.
Gruber’s approach uses “Task — Project — Enterprise — Network of Enterprise” as a structure. This is different from Activity Theory’s “
I also adopt Project-oriented Activity Theory which emphasizes “Idea — Project — Concept” for the new approach.
The “Aspiration — Project — Reflection” is inspired by the toolkit’s “Orientation — Awareness — Reflection” structure which can be considered an application of my work, the Ecological Practice Approach.
Finally, the “Self — Other — Future — Present” set refers to “Anticipatory Activity System” which is my newest version of Activity Theory.
So, the new approach indicates my two major contributions to the field of Activity Theory:
1. Project-oriented Activity Theory
2. Anticipatory Activity System
These two ideas are outcomes of two theoretical dialogues. Project-oriented Activity Theory is born from the dialogue between Activity Theory and Ecological Psychology. Anticipatory Activity System is born from the dialogue between Anticipatory Systems Theory and Activity Theory.
Since my target users are creators, I’d like to adopt Howard E. Gruber’s approach for the new approach. Also, I have been working on the Life Curation project which is an application of my work Curativity Theory for many years. It’s time to adopt the concept of Curativity for the Life Discovery Toolkit too.
Think: How did I get this insight? Is there a technique behind the process?
It was born from writing about my “Project” thematic space and developing the Life Discovery toolkit.
I think we can use “Writing as Thinking” to explain my creativity. Moreover, I’d like to mention “Thematic Curation” and “Attachance”.
I use the term “Thematic Curation” to refer to curation around a particular thematic space and connections between it and other thematic spaces. For example, I curated many ideas into my “Project” thematic space and connected it with my “Activity” thematic space.
The concept of “Attachance” refers to value and meanings of detaching and attaching. For this case, I detached my mind from the original Project-oriented Activity Theory and attached my mind to the Project-centered approach.
The Life-as-Activity Framework (v2.0) Diagram is inspired by the above “Activity as Formation of Concept” diagram and roughly keeps the original spatial logic.
However, the Life-as-Project Approach Diagram changes the spatial logic. It adopts the “CENTER-PERIPHERY” spatial logic. I just placed several pairs of concepts around the center “Project” in order to develop the “Project-centered” approach.
and used the Project Engagement Toolkit as an example of “Toolkit as Knowledge Statue”. In the article, I discussed my “Project” thematic space and a connection between my “Activity” thematic and my “Project” thematic space.
In order to write the article, I modified the Project Engagement Toolkit and made a new version.
The old name of module 6 was “Life as Activity: The Chain of Project”, its new name is “Creative Life as Networks of Enterprise”.
Originally, there was “Activity Theory” in the center of module 7. Now we only see “Project” there.
This modification refers to a new thematic space: the “Project” thematic space.
After reviewing the details of the new version of the toolkit, I wrote the following idea:
If we connect these dots together and put them on the “Project” thematic space, then we see a new baby.