From a hermeneutic ethnographic project I have developed a theory and model of dialogue that I have brought back into praxis in my own real world engagements, but more can be done.

In early 2003, a colleague and I developed a survey, based on the early formation of the archetypal model of dialogic process, attempting to show a connection between Myers-Briggs and the archetypes. Using what may turn out to be an overly complex interpretation, we showed a slight statistical correlation in our limited sample of respondents between the archetypal roles and the personality types of Myers-Briggs (Bell & Fenske, 2003). In 2004, I used an early working definition of dialogue in a case study, which was comprised of the theory of enabling dialogical space and the theory of dialogical gifts, to evaluate several places in Ireland. (Bell, 2004b) Since 2004, and including the case study in Ireland, I have been using my working definition of dialogue as a framework for design. I am using my working definition to test and develop spaces and processes of engagement that are dialogical. Using the definition as a framework, I am exploring the implications using more specific design questions such as:

How can dialogical environments be created that encourage emerging dialogue for the purpose of building and maintaining community cohesion and identity in the face of adaptive challenges?

I offer these as examples of how my working definition has become for me a practical tool in design of physical and social places, a theoretical model of dialogue and a frame through which to view the world. I have begun an exploration of the design implied by this model as it relates to the philosophy, theory and techniques of designing social and physical places for dialogue.

This is only the beginning. This is a theoretical framework based in an iterative praxis, but in order to grow and be relevant I must continue with real world, practical engagements to continue the loop from theory back to praxis. I also believe that this theoretical framework, this theory and model of dialogue I propose, would benefit from further study, especially depth psychology and game theory.

Posted by John Bell on December 10, 2006
Tags: The Fifth Principle of Dialogue

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