TAIJIQUAN AS A SOURCE OF DESIGN AND CREATION-PROCESSES
Prof. Thomas Born, Anna Elisa Heine
HTW University of Applied Science Berlin, Germany

Abstract
Paul Baltes and Ulman Lindenburg, development-psychologists from Max-Planck-Institute in Berlin describe the causal connection between the activity of body and the activity of the brain as follows: There are indications that physical movement is able directly to increase the cerebral plasticity and the working of the brain cells.. According to the results of this research we could assume that there is a close connection existing between the individual experience of motion and the capacity of spatial thinking and imagination. In other words there is a connection between the keen sense of motion and growing one‘s awareness. This means: If we want our imagination and creativity to become more and more sophisticated we do have to develop and increase our repertoire of motion. Though this idea is worldwide a very old one, Western systems of education in contrast to Asian systems, don‘t pay attention to it at all Especially the information society of of today has actually brought up the necessity to educate ourselves more and more in imagination, abstraction and spatial thinking. Processes of work have changed from heavy industrial production into light immaterial electronic proceedings. That is the reason why we really have to pay attention to the awareness of body and motion in order to be able to develop the awareness of mind, of mind in both meanings: intellect and spirit. Since our well-trained perception and imagination is the fundamental condition for our deeds no matter how small and unimportant they ever seem to be we compiled (worked out) a whole string of design-methods and exercises which might help young students in this field. Asian martial art systems, originated in Daoism, have been tried and tested over thousands of years and therefore seemed to us as media artists to provide just the right instruments that may train self-perception, e.g. drawing-transformation skills in university studies. The centre of our point of view in this connection is primarily not the ideological or spiritual transfer, but rather the organic design processes derived from nature. In order to give some idea of our basic hypothesis we quote the following: “Taiji fighters don‘t consider their opponents as their enemies, but as their completion. (...) The one fighter‘s movements arise from the other fighter‘s movements. The continuous (steady) changement of opposite poles as quickness and slowness, or as open and shut are mutually conditional. Square and circle cause each other, hardness and softness support each other...” These are exactly the rules we apply for the composition of pictures, for drawing, designing, imaging and recording. This is the main idea of our concept: If the body, if the joins are opened up and Qi is flowing in the meridians without disturbance, the awareness should combine with motion and Qi should be driven by the imaginative forces (strength). The imagination is the expression of the awareness. And the cultural extension of the awareness more and more intensifies the imaginative forces. As Qi in the Taijiquan system is guided by the imagination, so is the medial design- and creation-process guided by the consciously applied imagination. Very simply expressed this means: We have a parallel between developing moving and creating images, and not only a parallel but also a simultaneousness of motion, awareness and creation.


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