Technepisteme: A Pidgin for Intertwingling Theory & Practice

As Johnson-Eilola and Selber point out in their introduction of Central Works in Technical Communication, so much conference and journal content in our field is dedicated to reconciling academy-industry issues, such as the perceived divide that sets them apart professionally and philosophically.

One of the aims of my dissertation research project will be to explore the possibilities of developing a pidgin rhetoric that can be used to further meld together the realms of theory and practice in meaningful and useful ways.

By simultaneously being a user and a designer of a specific technological artifact (a retail automation system), I hope to develop a sort of bidirectional empathy from which will emerge a process I’m calling “design-centered use,” a compliment to Johnson’s UCT theory.

By collapsing the user-centered rhetorical triangle, I will immerse myself as a designer-user (more than a participant-observer) into a bona fide context of retail in a live environment with a “grammar of motives” that will inform my existing design processes.

By intertwingling theory with the practical at every turn, I hope to develop a synthesized discourse that embodies equal proportions of both, which will yield a hybrid rhetorical mode that can be taught, evolved, theorized, and used to negotiate and facilitate, among other pursuits, bridge building and service learning projects.


About burtaycock

Father of 2 great boys, interaction designer, doodler, student of life.
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