DEFINING PRESENCE, PRESENTATION, AND PARTICIPATION
I’m Here. Before You.
And I’m Here For You.
Contemplating The Context Of Presence—Being In A Place, And Presentation—Having Something To Present, Or Presented To You, And Being In The Place: Listening, It’s That.
Præ+esse—“before” and “to be.” It’s that way with presentation—to offer presentment before others, but—being present—it’s about being here, focused, attentive. Before something: an idea, a person, a team, an inquiry or exploration.
And in that construct of presence—as you’re paying attention—it is, too, about how you, as a participant, experiences that presentation as a whole grasp of sensational experience—something that has been “done.” Or are doing.
What we call: “experientiality.”
You’re doing; you’re being, you’re there.
As designers, or as a participant in living, you might be walking around a “space,” to “create yourself in your own sense of place.” When you’re walking a space—your life, a question, you could be trying to create a place— it’s the where of you are.
This place where you are—designer or otherwise, needs to be a place [not a space—vacuous and empty,] but memory-grounding. A place where you are: it is something unforgettable—
you need to be in here.
Present and focused, accounted for.
In a manner, the idea of being present
is the highest state of designmind.
You’re feeling it.
There is a theory about comprehension,
the holding of your self, in a place.
There is a pattern, it’s a sensual patterning—
the rattling of sound,
the rhythm of touch,
the moisture of taste,
what is seen in scene.
It’s a quieting-down, a focus on the layering of the sensations of experience.
Walk quiet, watch, learn and listen. How the floor sounds, the movement of the Sun, the sound of the street outside, breeze, trees, possible vistas. Being present is being here. Now.
The point is, to do that work,
you have to
Visualize sensation as a sphere—everything you design can be
a managed point design thinking. But it might be that
the thinking isn’t
linear strategy alone, it has to be more to the movement of emotion.
Walk quiet — the quieter you walk, the more you feel holistically.
Watch—study the movements of yourself and others.
Learn—you ask questions,
sense the vibe
of this place.
And listen—you ask a question
and hear how it’s answered.
always more to an answer—
tone, pitch, face, body stance—
they all tell you something.
How the floor sounds—
is this floor hard, soft, smooth, rough or surfaced in some manner.
How would you change it?
The movement of the Sun—light will affect the space; it’s one way, one time; it’s another, another time. It changes everything as it transits.
Environments: the sound of the street outside—what’s happening; how does it change?
Movements: breeze—is there a movement in the air? Would you plan on controlling that?
Foliage: trees act as filtrations—light and air. And they change. They create a green light—then, in their transitions, they change—they move from a green luminosity to a skeletal patterning of trunks and branches.
What’s out there? Is there a view? How far can you see out there:
What this all comes down to is an exquisite sensitivity to “hereness.”
When you think about designing,
the signature of your
what you’re putting out there— these are all holistic impressions.
Which would be that which you design.
And that which you can experience.
TIM | GIRVIN