The Language/Action Perspective PAIN CONSULTConcepts, History, & Applications Concept design workshop Peter Jones, OCAD University ISSS 2012 San Jose
WHAT IS A CONVERSATION?CommunicationColin Cherry defined “communication” as the exchangeof normatively defined meanings and creatingunderstanding between purposeful social participants.
WHAT IS A CONVERSATION?Communication act… creates understanding between purposeful socialThatparticipants.A particular exchange takes place between at least 2 people,representing individual interests or intentions, or collectiveinterests represented by individuals.
TWO DIVERGING VIEWS …Shannon-Weaver Communication TheorySignal expressed from a Source to Destination.Transmitter-receiver (Very AT&T)Feedback repairs breakdowns.ConstructivistAgents co-create conversation based onmutual meaning (background).Intentions are interpreted, actions coordinated.Emergence & novelty are possible.Sensemaking repairs breakdowns.
History of key ideas … 2006 Christakis & Bausch publish How people harness their c wisdom to create the future colaboratories of democracnfinished timeline by Hugh Dubberly, 2009
CONVERSATIONAL SYSTEMSRittel Argumentation (IBIS)Pask Conversation Theory (Interaction of Actors)Winograd Language-Action Perspective& Flores Ontological Design, a phenomenological approach to conversations that invent new modes of being & co-create action.Christakis Dialogic Design& Warfield Science of Generic Design 7
CONTEXT & BACKGROUNDLanguage-Action Roots in 3 movements (1980’s)UC Berkeley Dreyfus, Flores critique of AI Winograd joined from Stanford Understanding Computers & Cognition (1986)Electronic Workplace Flores’ PhD & vision of paperless office (1980) “Management & Communication in the Office of the Future”Coordination Theory Movement toward CSCW & workflow based on commitment governance The Coordinator email system (1987) Action Workflow 9
MATURANA & Living SystemsIs conversation a structural coupling of cognitive agents?Autopoesis Humans are self-producing, self-organizingStructural coupling Complementary interaction with environment – Largely in a social mediumCognitive system Domain of interactions with environment to act with relevanceLanguaging Arises as coordinating actions for coordinating action. Recursion to create a consensual linguistic domain. 10
SOFTWARE EMBODIMENTS The Coordinator – 1986 Orchestrator Mail - 2010 11
SOFTWARE EMBODIMENTSAction Works – Coordinator & Action Workflow 12
SERVICE SYSTEMS MODEL David Ing, 2008: Offerings as Commitments and Context: Service Systems from a Language Action Perspective September 1, 2008, at UKSS 2008, Oxford, UK 13
SERVICE SYSTEMS MODELProtocol for coordination of commitment to deliverables, process, relationship. David Ing, 2008: Offerings as Commitments and Context: Service Systems from a Language Action Perspective 14
TYPES OF CONVERSATIONS Austin & Searle: Speech Acts theory of speech behavior Social facts “two or more agents with collective intentionality” Institutional facts: Social facts that become public, established events (e.g., money, organizations, systems)Conversations for…Orientation Interpersonal Purposeful Conversations for Conversations Acknowledgemen Conversations t for Possibility for Action Conversations for Clarification
What if we were to allow patients to post personal Too much yard reflections in the medical What would that work. Yours? do for us? How Phatic records system? might we do that? Conversations Conversation for PossibilityHow was yourweekend? (Offer) Let’s write a proposal to the IT board for a I’m in. (Accepted) research project on We need a position this idea. paper. Can you write a draft by next Conversation for week? (Request) Action
Conversation for Possibility Interpersonal queries, inquiries, & propositions that open a context. Common ground (background), including prior intent & continuing conversations. No “goals” in conversations for possibility, but rather co-creation of understanding and novelty. Diagram by Hugh Dubberly, from Jones (2009) The Language/Action Model of Conversation: Can conversation perform acts of design? 17
Conversation for Action Purposeful communications that coordinate actions between individuals. Initiation of requests, agreement on conditions, accounting for promises. 18
5 BASIC PERFORMATIVE SPEECH ACTS From Searle / Austin’s Illocutionary Points Assertives commit a speaker to the truth of an expression. Directives (requests, commands, & advice) cause the listener to follow a requested action. Commissives (promises & oaths) commit the speaker to future actions. Declarations establish accord with a proposition (e.g., pronounce a couple as married). Expressives convey a speaker’s attitudes or emotions about a proposition (e.g., praise, gratitude). 19
What is an organization wereconceived as a network ofconversations? Inside & Out?What if – fundamentally –unit level operations werecommissives & directives? 21
DESIGN METHODS & THEORIESDesign and business are conversation systems.Products & services are networks of conversations for action.Designing acts are performed & recognized by language. 22
Geometry of LanguagingChristakis (2006) extends Conversation inDialogic Design Science – based on principlesestablished in Warfield’s Domain of Science ModelGeometries of language action shape intent / outcomeDyad Smallest social systemTriad Introduces witness & offset perspectiveQuartet Balanced pairs structure5-7 Collaboration required12-20 Dialogue required20-50 Listening required 23
Syntegrity ModelGroup dialogue geometry totriangulate perspectives on a topic 24
Mapping to Design Action DESIGN DISCOVERY ENVISIONING & DELIVER Orientation Possibility Action The declarative act is generative, literally creative. A state is created where there was nothing preceding it. 25
Conversation is not a tool foroutcomes; rather, languageuses us, shaping & constrainingour work & experience.Riding our intentions, languageboth opens & limits collectiveexperiences. 26
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