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T. Stepien

University of Technology Wroclaw (POLAND)
Niklas Luhmann (1992) points out that “only communication can communicate and that only within such a network of communication is what we understand as action created”. The special case of the social communication concerns the new ICT and its transcultural and transdisciplinar usefulness. With the emergence of the network society there is created a new culture of interaction. At the same time this culture is founded by technological and spatial turn which determine the social space of communication but also design the curricula in research and teaching/learning process.

This new culture of communication and interaction in social life and inside the learning/teaching reality is expressed by triple turn on which the intellectual discourse in the last decades is focused: (1) the cultural turn initiated by M. Foucault and then continuated in form of culture and history interpretation presented by F. Fukuyama and S.P. Huntington; (2) the technological turn with the analysis of social changes created by the emerging of new ICT and expressed by new models of society, e.g. M. McLuhan and M. Castells; and finally (3) the spatial turn represented with the new conception of space in social dimension by H. Lefebvre (1974). The notion ‘spatial turn’ appears at first time in the work of E.W. Soja (1989) interprated as a kind of master turn and paradigm in the contemporary science but also, what underlines F. Jameson (1991), as the main phenomenon of the modern and postmodern society.

On the ground of this differentiation between cultural, technological and spatial turns in the last time begin the discussion about the relation between science and technologies, society and culture confronted by technological changes of human existence and finally about the new challenges for man and society. The contemporary analysis and interpretation are focused on the two paradigms: transculturality and transdisciplinarity as well in social / individual life as in research and education.

After the last 20 years and after the first attempts to analyse the phenomenon of space and technology in the modern society, nowadays with the dissemination of ICT this dilemma is returned above all in the space of the institutionalized high education. With Luhmann’s definition of communication as a network in the sense of created interaction there appears the question about possibilities of transdisciplinar and transcultural communication within the research and education network. In the following considerations there should be presented the transformation and application of these theoretical valuations in the research projects and study programmes.

On the academic level as an example we can mentioned the transnational cooperation between Department of Humanities at the Wroclaw Technology University (Poland) and Philosophische Institut at the Technische Universitat Dresden (Germany) supported by the EU-Programme LLP-Erasmus with mutual staff exchange. The cooperation envisages elaboration of curricula and moduls concerning especially technical and engineering education (e.g. Aesthetics of spaces in architecture and city planning) with application, besides the classical teaching/leraning in bodily presence, the new ICT in form of e-learning and blended learning with the transdisciplinar orientation.