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D as Diagramming: The Life-as-Activity Framework (v2.0)

A By-product of the iART Framework project

This post is a short note on which is a by-product of . This time I use a method called to develop the v2.0 framework. I consider this post as a part of .

I have been paying attention to Digital Platforms and Adult Development for over ten years. As a participant in digital platforms, I am both a user, a curator and a maker. As a participant in adult development, I have founded several non-profit online communities which aim to support the life development of university students and young professionals.

In the past several years, I also developed several models to guide my reflections on practical experiences on digital platforms and adult development.

I was attracted to since I wrote my first learning autobiography in 2015. In order to help a friend, I developed a framework called which is inspired by , and other ideas in 2016. In Nov 2020, I reconstructed the framework with more theoretical resources and the outcome was a new method named (v0.3).

I recently worked on the iART Framework project and one of its by-products is the following diagram. I named it the Life-as-Activity Framework (v1.0).

In fact, I wrote an email to a friend and I told her the name “the Life-as-Activity Framework (v1.0)” is not the final solution. I just needed a name for this diagram. Later, the diagram was renamed on Aug 30, 2021.

Now I have an ideal solution. I use a method called Diagram Blending to develop a new diagram for the approach. The method means making a diagram with several meta-diagrams. The main diagram and its sub-diagrams form a diagram network. This is a new approach to building knowledge frameworks.

The Life-as-Activity Framework (v2.0) uses the diagram below as its main diagram.

The major difference between the v2.0 and the v1.0 is the following concepts:

  • v1.0: Reflection — Emergence — Anticipation
  • v2.0: Moment — Project — Theme

The v1.0 presents a scheme of “past — present — future”. It is a process view of life. However, v2.0 presents a three-level timescale. Moment refers to situational actions at a short time duration. Project refers to medium-duration activities. Theme refers to life themes of a person’s whole life.

The original v0.3 was developed as an activity-theoretical approach to biography-based study. However, v2.0 expanded from reflection to anticipation. It means v2.0 is not only for biography-based study but for life development.

The peripheral ellipse refers to the diagram below:

The three concepts of “Object — Objective — Outcome” are adopted from the traditional Activity Theory. The notion of “Life as a Concept” is inspired by Project-oriented Activity Theory.

The concept of Opportunity is inspired by my work which is based on Ecological Psychology. It refers to the Organization for Opportunity framework.

The term “Project” refers to and .

The above diagram was originally named Platform for Development (P4D) Framework (v1.0). I renamed it the Developmental Project model because the P4D framework (v2.0) expanded to a set of diagrams.

Below is a case study of the Developmental Project Model. On May 23, 2021, I did my first Developmental Project Case Study. I used the model to reflect on the Activity U project.

The term “Theme” refers to Themes of Practice and its practical model (see the diagram below).

The term “Moment” refers to my research about Creative Actions and the 3i model.

You can find the newest update about the 3i model here.

Finally, the Life-as-Activity framework (v0.3) has offered several great models:

  • The Motivation Chain: Needs and Supports
  • The Achievement Chain: Product, By-product, and Meta-product
  • Mapping Networks of Enterprise
  • Mapping Themes of Practice
  • Near Histories and Possible Practice

The v2.0 remains the above models as sub-models. You can find more details from the original article about v0.3 here.



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Oliver Ding

Oliver Ding

Founder of CALL(Creative Action Learning Lab), information architect, knowledge curator.