A Life-long Course in Interior Recreation and Design

Introductory Remarks

iCulture therapy is a new online psychotherapeutic system and a free educational service to the general public. The methods of production and distribution are based on two existing systems of communication and research: blogging, which has been around for a couple of decades, and the academic disciplines that have traditionally addressed the life of the mind beginning with Theology in the Middle Ages, then branching into the Humanities, Liberal Arts, and eventually Psychology, Psychoanalysis, and Psychiatry. iCulture is a synthesis of online technology, art and literary theory, psychoanalysis, and the philosophical foundations of the sciences of the mind.

iCulture Therapy as Interior Recreation and Self-reflexive Blogging

Just as the body needs rest, nourishment, play time, and TLC therapy, the mind has its own set of parallel requirements. The only place to reflect on the life of the mind is one’s interior. But do we know what it is and can we ‘hear’ it? Social, national, and global media are continuously and noisily shaping and designing our interiors, whether we realise it or not. The systems organising our values are vast and impenetrable, even to the designers, engineers, and political powers that control them with intent and purpose. There is a space, however, that is private and entirely up to the individual to control, design, and order. That is what in iCulture therapy we call the interior. On this site you will find helpful tools and inspiration to organise the internal space and to celebrate and enjoy its singular being in the world. In iCulture therapy cultural and consumer material is presented to you in a non-threatening and non-competitive way. The articles are designed to help you understand your contents without fear of judgement or retribution and without the need to compare one’s level of expertise and achievement with others, least of all with the author.

Interior Recreation is another word for self-reflexivity. A mirror reflects the part of the self we share with others and let others influence, design, and order culturally and politically. Unlike looking in the mirror, self-reflexivity requires another medium of expression, one that functions like an internal mirror. Only the individual is able to see and access the internal mirror, which orders reality in a particular way and, like a fingerprint, is absolutely singular. To understand its behind-the-scenes ‘programming language’ requires mastery of at least one external medium, through which the owner re-creates and re-designs the world daily.

Advanced observational skills are a vital part of learning to design the interior actively. iCulture therapy aims to build the necessary set of observational skills. To be a good emotional designer one must be able to observe the interplay between external and internal forces of design, as well as know one’s way around the tools of design. Social media have now made a range of tech tools available to the average individual, but there is a dire lack of academic research and training about using them productively, especially at the personal, emotional, and psychological level. There is even less research, if one can imagine it, on the ways in which knowledge about the mind, which humanity has amassed over thousands of years, can be revitalised and put to use through the tools of our contemporary technical media.

This blog service is intended to supplement the missing connections and research on the life of the mind and contemporary media. It is dedicated to helping the trainee build a practice of self-reflexivity that will not only enhance their well-being and quality of life, but also the work and products they put out.

iCulture Therapy as Emotional Design

The most self-reflexive form of design today is haute couture. It is the branch of product design that is most directly aligned with the needs of the individuality to articulate its internal makeup. Its products are highly sophisticated yet poorly understood and reflected internally, though the practice is very much aware of its social origins and functions.

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Elisabeth I, van der Meulen

Dior 2009 Getty Images

Dior 2009 Getty Images

 

A model presents a creation by British designer John Galliano for Christian Dior during a Spring/Summer 2009 Haute Couture collection show in Paris, on January 26, 2009. AFP PHOTO FRANCOIS GUILLOT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)

Galliano for Dior 2009 Getty Image

 

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A major component of iCulture therapy consists of periodic reflection on articles, artists, designers, and brands working in high fashion. The latter is a remnant of the landed gentry’s concept of high society, which was supported by Biblical hermeneutic knowledge and practical classical know-how. Through high fashion and its extensions, such as hotel design and amusement parks, what was available only to a few became potentially accessible to everyone. Keep reading this blog for more.

There are certainly days when everyone feels crummy: the hair isn’t right, thoughts and perceptions are out of order and uncomfortable, feelings of guilt surface, upsets with self-image, actions, angry outbursts, meltdowns, unpleasant situations we could have avoided abound. Negative moments happen to everyone and they ruffle the beautiful image we have of ourselves. How we master these moments, however, is part of our emotional design. No one is perfect, but educating the emotions is predicated on the ability to self-reflect. Naturally, we have PR specialists who make sure the public face is clear of blemishes. In reality, everyone stumbles and falls once in a while. PR efforts are not invincible. Damage-control is never total. Stumbles and falls are also the best opportunities we get to design a truly unique, high-quality interior.

St. Veronica by Mattia Preti

St. Veronica by Mattia Preti

The only material image that remained from the Christ is the fabled Veronica (http://viola.bz/secrets-of-the-miraculous-veil-of-veronica/). The decomposed features of the Lord in the moment of his greatest suffering, doubt, and pain, are certainly not of the ready-for-closeup variety, but they are the only earthly imprint of the holy features. What remains from us for others to experience and contemplate is a re-created image of our less than perfect moment of decomposition. How we frame the negative features is what we will learn to understand and craft in the course of iCulture therapy.

http://www.bl.uk/treasures/shakespeare/richard3.htmlThe most profound and to this day unsurpassed scholar of human interiority, Shakespeare, also knew better than anyone that to design a powerfully gripping character meant fashioning his flaws in a way that is not only acceptable to conscience and moral authority, but irresistible and spellbinding. Since Shakespeare’s entire oeuvre was firmly and consciously rooted in biblical knowledge, his flawed characters serve as powerful allegories intended to educate even as they thrill and enchant the human heart. iCulture therapy follows Shakespeare’s biblical insights closely to help us understand and re-create/re-design a genuine and inimitable interior emotional space.

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