Nurturing the capacity
for a generative Practice of Care
Thesis project for PNCA’s
Design Systems M.A.
Care is one of those words, like love, that has many vague meanings. But, at its deepest, it speaks of relationship and interconnectedness between people, places, and our kin in the natural world.
How might we grow in our understanding of care, and lean into its challenges as well as its blessings? This thesis explores the possibilities of an ongoing, engaged Practice of Care.
“Attention focuses us in a way that creates intention. And intention is what leads to action. Paying attention is a sacred act.”
— Robin Wall Kimmerer
CULTIVATING ATTENTION: A THESIS PROJECT
Care is one of those words, like love, that has many vague meanings, but at its deepest, it speaks of relationship and inter-connectedness between people, places, and our kin in the natural world. How might we grow in our understanding of care, and lean into its challenges as well as its blessings? What might happen if we took seriously the call to care, on an individual and societal level? This thesis explores the possibilities of an ongoing, engaged Practice of Care.
Practicing care takes us through a cycle of cultivating attention, developing intention, and taking action. With a focus on the first step, cultivating attention, this thesis project invites folks into a posture of listening and noticing that creates a fertile foundation for later steps along the journey of care. By activating our senses, holding space for reflection, and sharing honestly in community, we can become better practitioners of care as we participate in the messy, beautiful, challenging, imperfect, heartbreaking, joyous work of living together.
To put this thinking into practice, I led a series of Care Club workshops as a community-based conversation starter and created a kit called Care Package as an individual exploration.
Watch the thesis presentation here (password: !XfH^w6w). This presentation summarized my research process, insights, design interventions, and conclusions, including the Journey of Care model (above).
Read the paper for a more in-depth exploration of my research and findings.