The Art of Design
Greg Gargarian has left us prematurely, only a few months after completing his PhD thesis. He has been robbed of the opportunity to collect the fruits of his own hard and promising work. In this chapter, we wish to bring to the reader a few excerpts of Greg's contribution to the fields of design, music, learning, and teaching.
Greg's intellectual trajectory within the Epistemology and Learning Group was unique. He was, all at once, a composer and a learning theorist, a tool builder, and a teacher. His careful analysis of the processes involved in music composition and interpretation, his case studies of expert composers and listeners, and his work with young children at Paige Academy in Boston allowed him to design some ingenious microworlds for exploring musical events. Greg offered children a construction kit for creating musical sequences, for playing around with musical objects, and for operating musical transformations for building variations around a theme. Children could design soundtracks to their own animations. They could put characters in motion and make them dance. They could record their own sounds and arrange them into a rhythmic or melodic sequence. As Greg's advisor, it was a joy for me to follow his work in progress, to share ideas with him, and to participate in the discussions with professional composers during our summer seminar at the NIED, Campinas, Brazil. Greg was a generous mind, a talented artist, and a sharp thinker. He was a generalist able to articulate his wide interests around a principled repertoire of concepts and tools for learning about music through design.
Although Greg himself has been taken away, his wife Jacqueline, his many close friends, and his colleagues from all over the world are currently joining