PRIMER (en)‎ > ‎What is PRIMER?‎ > ‎    Versión española 1. Enfoque teórico‐metodológico (IDS)

Theoretic and Methodological Approach (IDS)

Theoretical Dimension (IDS approach)

The crossroad of the hereby convened theoretic & methodological approaches -of integrative purport- offers a structuring framework that makes possible the systematic integration of knowledge and subjects. On the one hand, Systems Science (in a broad sense, including among others complexity science and cybernetics) faces reality in its relational, functional and evolutionary aspects; on the other hand, Social Innovation focuses its methodology on an open and creative incorporation of knowledge and agents to the solution of problems and social needs; and finally, the Design Science emphasizes the holistic design of solutions to the faced problems. 
The adjacent figure illustrates the functional link between the 3 pillars of the IDS focus.

The interdisciplinary study of information represents a high valuable area of knowledge of the IDS approach. On the one hand because of the role of information (in general) and information technologies (on a more applied perspective) in the theoretical and methodological IDS framework, in each of its three pillars. On the other hand, since it was within this context where the approximation of agents and integrative approaches took place, thus bringing about the IDS approach. As a consequence, the experience gained in this field is worth keeping for the development of this approach which, notwithstanding, applies to many other knowledge areas. Moreover, the interdisciplinary study of information presents the particularity of crossing some aspects of physical, biological, cognitive, social and technical reality. It is thus offered as a tool in itself for the integration of knowledge.
Practical dimension

Another fundamental aspect of the PRIMER methodological approach is the link to both, research and innovation, understanding that challenging open problems requires a participatory and direct contact with research. This turns the learning subjects in knowledge actors facing the process of both, acquisition and creation of knowledge in a holistic, participatory, critical, and responsible way (to the extent that the addressed research projects highlight the social relevance as well as the engagement with the community).

In order to promote creativity, there is a commitment to use art, usually through collective creations which are lately shown in public, in connection to open debates. This element is indeed motivated from the three angles of the IDS approach: for design science, since it understands the artistic process as a creation of the 'artificial'. For the systems science, in terms of the systematic aspects of art in the relationship between the parts and the whole, but also historically through the relevance of aesthetic reflection in the systemic philosophy and the contemporaneous linkage to some artistic movements such as conceptual art. Finally for the open social innovation, through its fostering of creativity and experimentation in expressive techniques.

Technical dimension

A third fundamental aspect is the use of information technology (IT) in its capacity to structure new processes of learning, innovation, design and analysis-of-reality. This relevance is present in the three pillars of the IDS approach: from the systemic point of view, information is an essential component of system dynamics and its adaptation to the environment, thus IT represents a fundamental modification of social systems dynamics; from design science, IT constitutes a privileged space in the creation of the artificial becoming one of its main areas of development. Finally for open innovation, IT offers innovative possibilities to bring about the encounter between social needs and techno-social capabilities, which in turn provide solutions to the faced problems.

In this terrain, the use of interdisciplinary glossaries is remarkable. They are intended to ease the disciplinary understanding as well as the conceptual building brought about from intersection of different disciplines. Interdisciplinary glossaries are built up collectively and are articulated in a system of electronic publications embracing from contributions carried out in learning processes to the elaboration of scientific or technical publications of impact.

To facilitate the effective convergence of tools that makes the development of hybrid ecologies of learning and interdisciplinary research easier, PRIMER pays special attention to the development of an e‐infrastructure that integrates components of e‐education, e‐science and e‐participation with extra attention to multilingualism and inclusion. This is intended to jump over the spatial and temporal limitations of education and practise characteristic of face-to-face environments, thus enabling fertile knowledge alliances.