Here’s a little tale for your week-end…
Levi-Strauss, anthropologist, in The Savage Mind, talks about two ways, two “Types”.
- The Bricoleur, the DYIer who uses whatever he has in hand and imaginatively recombines them to create something new.
- The Engineer is more scientific, he has a project from A to Z, he uses rules and knowledge. He builds and he’s serious.
The Bricoleur is a savage mind, he steals, gleans, finds “things” and plays combinations games, tries, have fun. He’s casual, right? The Engineer is serious and follows something.
Derrida, philosopher, studied all this and wrote later that the “Engineer” is an ideal who doesn’t really exist. He can not be the master of all, he can not be at the origin of all his projects.
- In a way, every Engineer is a Bricoleur, right?
- Is the Engineer is a myth invented by Bricoleurs?
- Are all Engineers Bricoleurs?
– Oh, well… I think I just bricoled this one… So sorry.
– No you’re not.
Thanks for reading!
Bonne lecture et bonne journée !
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Bricolage is a French loanword that means the process of improvisation in a human endeavor. The word is derived from the French verb bricoler (“to tinker”), with the English term DIY (“Do-it-yourself”) being the closest equivalent of the contemporary French usage. In both languages, bricolage also denotes any works or products of DIY endeavors
[He or she] is adept at performing a large number of diverse tasks; but, unlike the engineer, he [or she] does not subordinate each of them to the availability of raw materials and tools conceived and procured for the purpose of the project. His [or her] universe of instruments is closed and the rules of his [or her] game are always to make do with “whatever is at hand,” that is to say with a set of tools and materials which is always finite and is also heterogeneous because what it contains bears no relationto the current project, or indeed to any particular project, but is the contingent result of all the occasions there have been to renew or enrich the stock or to maintain it with the remains of previous constructions or destructions.
the engineer is always trying to make his way out of and go beyond the constraints imposed by a particular state of civilization while the “bricoleur” by inclination or necessity always remains within them.
- the “savage” is a bricoleur, assembling patchwork objects by adapting “the means at hand” (by adding, deleting, substituting and transforming them);
- the “scientist” is an engineer, creating objects “out of nothing,” “out of whole cloth.”
the odds are that the engineer is a myth produced by the bricoleur