Friday, 8 June 2012

Is Grey Good? Or is that a Black and White Question?

I have recently been considering my stance on learning environment design, the use of technology in teaching and, in particular, mobile technology and it's current but, more importantly, future impact on learning environment design and teaching and learning methods.
I concluded that people's attitudes to these are often very black and white, my own included. However the more I design spaces and decide on  the technology to be used in them I find that there is a whole world of shades of grey out there. This should not be surprising but how many of those reading this, if they are honest, think in black and white.
I state in earlier posts that listening to relevant stakeholders is key to good design but what I had not considered is  how important grey is to the process. It is more than compromise, definitions of which are:
1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands.
2. the result of such a settlement.
3. something intermediate between different things: The split-level is a compromise between a ranch house and a multi-storied house. (This is the nearest definition)
4. an endangering, especially of reputation; exposure to danger, suspicion, etc.: a compromise of ones integrity.
I think that recognising that most things fall into the grey zone better prepares one to make compromises which are usually inevitable in the design process. 
Having said all that some things are black and white it is deciding which they are. Now there is a skill.
I hope those reading this post understand what I am trying to say because I found it difficult to articulate. Perhaps I have too strong a black and white personality but I am trying.

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