A common framework is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the theory of motivation. There are five classifications of human development Abraham Maslow describes: (1) Physiological needs that are required to sustain life such as food, water, shelter, rest ; (2) Safety need to feel secure; (3) Love, Belonging which is the need to feel accepted; (4) Esteem which is the need of recognition; and (5) Self-actualization which is the idealized self. Maslow evaluates the exchange of human development within the individual as stages to master the world around us.
Observation is made by experience or sense which traces back to the debate between two empirical philosophers David Hume and John Locke about the way people view and produce ideas. In “A New Philosophy of Society” by Manuel DeLanda, Locke believed that all knowledge derived from our senses produce impressions on the mind which turn to ideas, whereas Hume believed that all knowledge derived from our experiences and that any experience is one’s perception. Both sense and experience are critical to producing ideas with the evident information informed by observation constructed through reason producing knowledge. Kolko found parallels between abductive reasoning to insight and creative problem-solving that supports the act of making sense of information is key to defining what is essential by observation.
New research in this field has emerged like transformative experience design. It’s defined as a sudden or profound change in the self-world; it has an epistemic dimension and a personal dimension; and third, it can only be modelled as an emergent phenomenon that results from a complex self-organization dynamics.
A transformative experience is different from gradual change because it is a profound and long-lasting restructuration of our worldview; existential beliefs, evaluative beliefs, and prescriptive beliefs. Gaggioli evaluates these beliefs and values and evaluates transformative experiences that extend beyond what we know into what she calls epistemic expansion. Maslow’s human development framework needs to be revised by understanding intrinsic and extrinsic experiences as we move across time and not stages we move up. Self-actualization isn’t a linear process, like creativity or having an idea or epiphany in the shower, this is a self-actualization moment when you realize something. We experience this often in the most unplanned moments by making connections in relation to the environment. By extending oneself, we begin to take the risk “outside our current self” therefore a greater understanding of self occurs when individual experience intersects with the shared experience outside of what we currently believe or understand. Therefore, radical innovation driven by meaning change can also be design-driven through a better understanding of potential patterns of meanings. Transformative experiences push the boundaries in which we view and develop new perspectives that happen in groups of people working together.