BricolageIn the arts, bricolage (French for "DIY" or "do-it-yourself projects") is the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or a work constructed using mixed media.
The term bricolage has also been used in many other fields, including anthropology, philosophy, critical theory, education, computer software, and business.
OriginBricolage 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.
Visual artIn art, bricolage is a technique or creative mode, where works are constructed from various materials available or on hand, and is often seen as a characteristic of postmodern art practice. It has been likened to the concept of curating and has also been described as the remixture, reconstruction, and reuse of separate materials or artifacts to produce new meanings and insights.
ArchitectureBricolage is considered the jumbled effect produced by the close proximity of buildings from different periods and in different architectural styles.
It is also a term that is admiringly applied to the architectural work of Le Corbusier, by Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter in their book Collage City, suggesting that he assembled ideas from found objects of the history of architecture. This, in contrast to someone like Mies Van der Rohe, whom they called a "hedgehog", for being overly focused on a narrow concept.
AnthropologyIn anthropology, the term has been used in several ways. Most notably, Claude Lévi-Strauss invoked the concept of bricolage to refer to the process that leads to the creation of mythical thought, which "expresses itself by means of a heterogeneous repertoire which, even if extensive, is nevertheless limited. It has to use this repertoire, however, whatever the task in hand because it has nothing else at its disposal" . Later, Hervé Varenne and Jill Koyama used the term when explaining the processual aspect of culture, i.e., education
LiteratureIn literature, bricolage is affected by intertextuality, the shaping of a text's meanings by reference to other texts.
Cultural studiesIn cultural studies bricolage is used to mean the processes by which people acquire objects from across social divisions to create new cultural identities. In particular, it is a feature of subcultures such as the punk movement. Here, objects that possess one meaning (or no meaning) in the dominant culture are acquired and given a new, often subversive meaning. For example, the safety pin became a form of decoration in punk culture.
Social psychologyThe term "psychological bricolage" is used to explain the mental processes through which an individual develops novel solutions to problems by making use of previously unrelated knowledge or ideas they already possess. The term, introduced by Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, Matthew J. Karlesky and Fiona Lee [https://books.google.com/books?id=ZOEwBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=oxford+creativity+bricolage&source=bl&ots=9YO2B5AYJD&sig=fUzbuH-bEH_OB4D3iaqMu-DbRjk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=J3MgVbe9KcjosAXC1oGABw&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=oxford%20creativity%20bricolage&f=false The Oxford Handbook of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship] of the University of Michigan, draws from two separate disciplines. The first, “social bricolage,” was introduced by cultural anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss in 1962. Lévi-Strauss was interested in how societies create novel solutions by using resources that already exist in the collective social consciousness. The second, "creative cognition,” is an intra-psychic approach to studying how individuals retrieve and recombine knowledge in new ways. Psychological bricolage, therefore, refers to the cognitive processes that enable individuals to retrieve and recombine previously unrelated knowledge they already possess. Psychological bricolage is an intra-individual process akin to Karl E. Weick’s notion of bricolage in organizations, which is akin to Lévi-Strauss' notion of bricolage in societies.
PhilosophyIn his book The Savage Mind (1962, English translation 1966), French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss used "bricolage" to describe the characteristic patterns of mythological thought. In his description it is opposed to the engineers' creative thinking, which proceeds from goals to means. Mythical thought, according to Lévi-Strauss, attempts to re-use available materials in order to solve new problems.
Jacques Derrida extends this notion to any discourse. "If one calls bricolage the necessity of borrowing one's concept from the text of a heritage which is more or less coherent or ruined, it must be said that every discourse is bricoleur."
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, in their 1972 book Anti-Oedipus, identify bricolage as the characteristic mode of production of the schizophrenic producer.
EducationIn the discussion of constructionism, Seymour Papert discusses two styles of solving problems. Contrary to the analytical style of solving problems, he describes bricolage as a way to learn and solve problems by trying, testing, playing around.
Joe L. Kincheloe and Shirley R. Steinberg have used the term bricolage in educational research to denote the use of multiperspectival research methods. In Kincheloe's conception of the research bricolage, diverse theoretical traditions are employed in a broader critical theoretical/critical pedagogical context to lay the foundation for a transformative mode of multimethodological inquiry. Using these multiple frameworks and methodologies, researchers are empowered to produce more rigorous and praxiological insights into socio-political and educational phenomena.
Kincheloe and Steinberg theorize a critical multilogical epistemology and critical connected ontology to ground the research bricolage. These philosophical notions provide the research bricolage with a sophisticated understanding of the complexity of knowledge production and the interrelated complexity of both researcher positionality and phenomena in the world. Such complexity demands a more rigorous mode of research that is capable of dealing with the complications of socio-educational experience. Such a critical form of rigor avoids the reductionism of many monological, mimetic research orientations (see Kincheloe, 2001, 2005; Kincheloe & Berry, 2004; Steinberg, 2015; Kincheloe, McLaren, & Steinberg, 2012).