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05/2: Co-creation of Interdisciplinary Design Educations
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Systemic Design education in interdisciplinary environments: enhancing a co-disciplinary approach towards Circular Economy
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
The transition of our linear economic models towards a Circular Economy is perceived as a pressing need at European level. A growing body of literature highlights the demand for new skills to facilitate this transition: more than new professions, it is about specific profes-sional skills for circular businesses. The European Erasmus+ project MULTITRACES falls within this scenario and is based on the co-creation of a multidisciplinary online training pro-gramme that involved Systemic Design in collaboration with other scientific and economic disciplines. The learning process focused on the acquisition of both hard and soft skills rele-vant to the Circular Economy in the rural area, through a structure combining a vertical ap-proach to disciplinary topics, with a horizontal approach based on teamwork on industrial issues. The experience gained within the Systemic Design module opens a structured reflec-tion on how to teach design to students from different backgrounds, how design skills can foster a co-disciplinary approach to complex issues, such as the Circular Economy, and how digital tools can support design education.
Interdisciplinary Boundary Experiences: Learning through Conversations.
Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
The complexity of many social systems and organisations together with the challenges the world is facing in terms of climate and health demands imagining new ideas and approaches. Interdisciplinary collaboration offers good examples of strategies and practices better able to cope with this complexity, but they are reliant upon the dynamics within collaborations and good integration of perspectives. This paper considers an example of interdisciplinary collaboration aimed at growing mindsets capable of dialoguing with other disciplines through the boundary learning. Based within the Royal College of Art Master in Research, we stimulated a learning experience that leveraged the cyclical dynamics of multi-disciplinary conversations towards an integrated space for knowledge production. This has been assessed through the students’ response to a collaborative project, in which cross-discipline groups developed activities for public engagement through collective research practices. This paper specifically focuses upon the role of conversation in interdisciplinarity as a learning method that harnesses different kinds of knowledge at the boundaries of their discipline and thus facilitates interdisciplinary integration of different disciplines.
Using Creative Practice in Interdisciplinary Education
1Aalto University, Finland; 2University of South-Eastern Norway
Interdisciplinary approaches in education help future professionals build better understanding and a common language between disciplines and individuals. To make such leaps, skills in adjusting to new situations and rapidly changing knowledge systems are needed. Such skills are intrinsic to design practice, and design and making practices lend themselves well to such personal development. Design and making activities also offer opportunities for students from different disciplines to gather around central topics and engage in interdisciplinary discussions about matters that concern everyone and to materialize their understanding while reflecting on their personal process. In this paper, we present a course design in which this type of transformational reflection might take place, and we discuss how designing and making processes can provide suitable means to build a platform for interdisciplinary discussions and learning. By examining an interdisciplinary group of students’ creative processes, we found that navigating unknown situations with the explorative and adaptive mindset that emerges through reflection creates transferrable skills that are useful in interdisciplinary interactions and communication.
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