Universal Design for a Global Village

Marshall McLuhan, a most quintessential Canadian, coined the famous phrase, ‘The Global Village’. It‘s conjectured he may have been influenced by the ancient Vedic concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means, “The world is one family”.  Every group that plays Prelude creates its own unique set of iStars, iTags, weTags, and allTags. When these stages, from individual to whole group work, are laid out diagrammatically in an aerial overview, an overall image emerges. This is arrayed like a Mandala, the ancient model still used for meditation today. In Sanskrit, Mandala means, “partaking of essence in the circle”. A mandala is a visual design symbolizing the cosmos. It traditionally features a radial symmetry around four cardinal points. Mandalas have been used as meditation aids within Hindu and Buddhist spiritual practice for thousands of years to the present. Tibetan Buddhism avers that a mandala consists of five facets including teacher, message, audience, site, and time.

This striking Prelude design becomes a powerful post game reference for the group. It is a true souvenir in the original menaing of the word ‘to remember”. Prelude helps individuals and groups to better understand and appreciate each other. This results in conditions for harmony and peace. Carl Jung saw mandalas as “vessels” into which we project our psyche [Concerning Mandala Symbolism, 1950].  He said that a mandala symbolizes “a safe refuge of inner reconciliation and wholeness.” It is “a synthesis of distinctive elements in a unified scheme representing the basic nature of existence.”

Similarly, here in Canada Aboriginal elders have also noted Prelude’s complementarity with their sacred Medicine Wheel. “Prelude falls in line with our Medicine Wheel for the Woodland Cree People.  It has helped us in identifying who we are as individuals … It really was effective in pulling our group together.” ~ Nora Yellowknee, Curriculum Supervisor, Bigstone First Nation, Alberta





Universal Design & Prelude

Howard Esbin, PhDUniversal Design for a Global Village