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Key concepts


Aesthetics

deals with the characteristics, creation, meaning and perception of beauty and taste. The study of aesthetics develops skills for the critical appreciation and analysis of art, culture and nature.

Change

is a conversion, transformation or movement from one form, state or value to another. Inquiry into the concept of change involves understanding and evaluating causes, processes and consequences.

Communication

is the exchange or transfer of signals, facts, ideas and symbols. It requires a sender, a message and an intended receiver. Communication involves the activity of conveying information or meaning. Effective communication requires a common “language” (which may be written, spoken or non-verbal).

Communities

are groups that exist in proximity defined by space, time or relationship. Communities include, for example, groups of people sharing particular characteristics, beliefs or values as well as groups of interdependent organisms living together in a specific habitat.

Connections

are links, bonds and relationships among people, objects, organisms or ideas.

Creativity

is the process of generating novel ideas and considering existing ideas from new perspectives. Creativity includes the ability to recognize the value of ideas when developing innovative responses to problems; it may be evident in process as well as outcomes, products or solutions.

Culture

encompasses a range of learned and shared beliefs, values, interests, attitudes, products, ways of knowing and patterns of behaviour created by human communities. The concept of culture is dynamic and organic.

Development

is the act or process of growth, progress or evolution, sometimes through iterative improvements.

Form

is the shape and underlying structure of an entity or piece of work, including its organization, essential nature and external appearance.

Global interactions

as a concept, focuses on the connections among individuals and communities, as well as their relationships with built and natural environments, from the perspective of the world as a whole.

Identity

is the state or fact of being the same. It refers to the particular features that define individuals, groups, things, eras, places, symbols and styles. Identity can be observed, or it can be constructed, asserted and shaped by external and internal influences.

Logic

is a method of reasoning and a system of principles used to build arguments and reach conclusions.

Perspective

is the position from which we observe situations, objects, facts, ideas and opinions. Perspective may be associated with individuals, groups, cultures or disciplines. Different perspectives often lead to multiple representations and interpretations.

Relationships

are the connections and associations between properties, objects, people and ideas—including the human community’s connections with the world in which we live. Any change in relationship brings consequences—some of which may occur on a small scale, while others may be far-reaching, affecting large networks and systems such as human societies and the planetary ecosystem.

Systems

are sets of interacting or interdependent components. Systems provide structure and order in human, natural and built environments. Systems can be static or dynamic, simple or complex. The intrinsically linked concept of time, place and space refers to the absolute or relative position of people, objects and ideas. Time, place and space focuses on how we construct and use our understanding of location (“where” and “when”).