Every once a while interests and passion, work and personal life converge and it is time to give thanks! Sometimes it is hard to remember that life is one, it is whole and integrated. Because our brains compartmentalize things into sections and parts – work and home, professional and personal, for example, and then in the work setting too we are divided by our job focus and skills and the our role/status in an organization, how we see the world can be a very fragmented view. The world is one reality and yet we break it into parts to understand it and then forget to or are unable to put it back together again. In the political sphere, this fragmentation becomes so severe that as I heard on a radio show yesterday that language has become colored in the United States, words suggesting liberal (blue) or conservative (red) and so on. Around Thanksgiving when in the US families come together as a tradition – we are at a loss and sometimes in crisis about how to communicate. Talk about extremes!

‘What are you doing here?!’, a colleague who knows me from one part of my work life asked me last week at an event that is hosted by partners in another part of my work life. In an academic environment, every discipline under the sun, or so it seem, can be found in the same organization, sometimes on the same campus. But there are strong silos that separate and hierarchies – drawn on paper it seems like everyone is in boxes next to each other but not easily able to connect.

My mission is to breakthrough this disconnect so we can partner and connect ideas across disciplinary boundaries and collaborate and make things happen that can’t be done alone or in isolated ways. It is perhaps the influence of being trained as a designer, where one of the principal acts is to synthesize and integrate, all the many influences, information on users needs, site conditions, goals, into a coherent design.  I yearn someday that we as social beings can operate as whole integrated persons and be seen as whole, wherever we go. Wouldn’t that be incredible? In the meantime, I integrate and connect fragmented parts wherever I can in my own work.  

Integration is possible and needed in many contexts – integration of knowledge as in an academic university, integration of thought and action and integration within, of the mind, body, spirit, but also even within the human brain as in integration of perspectives/work of the left brain and the right brain. I came across this excellent RSA Aminate video on the Divided Brain.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



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