Futuring Bush Mechanics

In today’s complex and turbulent world it is vital to have futurists who can collaborate on collective projects, focus on action codified in exemplar projects and validate actions towards a better world. Unfortunately, current ‘education’ systems focus almost exclusively on the individual learner and have separated the learner from the praxis of the lived life. Furthermore, classrooms separate the learner from design, production and integration of learning into community life. The author argues that overcoming this separation of thinking and doing is one of the key challenges for modernity in future, in particular.

This paper argues that a way in which we may be able to meet this challenge is known by the term ‘bush mechanics’ in Australia—innovative individuals who look forward wisely and solve collective problems today through applying their ingenuity with what is available, thus integrating thinking, doing and being in what in ancient times was called poiesis and in Medieval times ‘artificing’ and today can be seen in action learning and the bush mechanic. The four principles, as well as examples, of the bush mechanic approach are discussed including their exemplar projects. Finally, the importance of the bush mechanic approach to ‘futuring’ and creating living breathing examples today of a future our children can live with is emphasised and collaboration sought.

–Paul Wildman, 2006

1. Introduction
2. The mismatch between conception and action
2.1. Emergence of the division between thinking and doing
2.2. Society as cephalocentric—accessing the overlooked mimetic epistemology of dexterity
3. From action learning to bush mechanic learning
3.1. Artificer learning—transforming praxis
4. Masterpiece—linking higher education, vocational training and the humble bush mechanic
4.1. A working definition of a bush mechanic/artificer
4.2. Related concepts
5. The four cardinal principles of the bush mechanic
5.1. Towards a revised definition of bush mechanic/artificer
6. Examples of bush mechanics and their exemplar projects
7. Integrating bush mechanicing into social and corporate design
8. Conclusion
9. Web References (accessed 10–01–2006)

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