Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Transdisciplinary and Creative Collaboration for Innovative Futures

UM LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DEPARTMENT The Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking and Innovation

DESCRIPTION This unit aims to create a safe space for students to experiment and take risks by stepping beyond their field of study/discipline and learn how to collaborate creatively with diverse mindsets while fostering dialogue and empathy. Creative pedagogies are embedded into the unit for learning beyond the traditional classroom and lecturing format including: Balance and Navigation; Risk, Immersion and Play; Embodied Dialogue; and finally, Ethics and Trusteeship.

Students will be guided in the process of re-imagining the future (future being the key theme) which will emerge from the diversity of interwoven contributions. By questioning their personal assumptions and certainties, students will be supported to discover new possibilities and meanings together and develop deep empathic knowledge of the contexts, needs and culture surrounding the issue being explored. Other creative pedagogies that will be employed here are Dialogue and Individual, Collaborative and Communal (ICC) [activities] for Change and Possibilities.3* Creative dimensions will be analysed within a context of social justice and critical pedagogy.4*

The unit aims to foster in students creativity, confidence, ability to collaborate effectively and a mission-oriented entrepreneurial mindset necessary to enter the professional world with the know-how and skills needed to put forward aspirations and creative ideas, as well as contribute in shaping a more ethically-considered, sustainable future. As such, other pedagogies that come to the fore are Empowerment and Agency with a strong emphasis on Transdisciplinarity.3*

3* Chappell, K., Hetherington, L., Alexopoulous, A., Ben-Horin, O., Nikolopoulos, K., Ruck-keene, H., Wren, H., Robberstad, J., Bogner, F. and Sotiriou, S., 2019. Dialogue and materiality/ embodiment in science/arts creative pedagogy: their role and manifestation. Thinking Skills and Creativity Special Issue: Exploring Pedagogies of Dialogic Space, 31, pp.296-322.
Chappell, K., Charlotte, S., Alison, B., & Margo, G. and Craft, A., 2016. CREAT-IT: a new pedagogical framework for partnering the arts and science in science education. Unpublished article. University of Exeter.
4* Giroux, H.A., 2020. On critical pedagogy. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Study-unit Aims:

1. To introduce students to transdisciplinary learning and collaboration;
2. To support students’ creative confidence and critical thinking by exploring the relationship between contemporary society and the disciplines of sciences, arts, design thinking and entrepreneurship;
3. To provide students with the opportunity to learn how to address complex social, ethical and environmental challenges through the application of future-oriented and design thinking processes and the exploration of embodied, creative practices.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Utilise the double diamond design thinking process and be able to identify and apply design principles, processes and practices within a project context;
- Identify the meaning of transdisciplinarity and how to apply this practice in professional settings (e.g. coordinating workshops);
- Practice future-oriented thinking;
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the application of the following creative pedagogies: Empowerment and Agency; Balance and Navigation; Embodied Dialogue; Ethics and Trusteeship; Risk, Immersion and Play; Possibilities; ICC; Trandisciplinarity;
- Perform work in diverse teams — both with and without guidance — on innovative, ethical and solution-oriented projects;
- Recognise the wider social and ethical contexts of creative projects.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Apply skills in effective team building, collaboration and communication;
- Demonstrate the process of reflection, both during activities and after their completion;
- Practice and apply critical and future-oriented thinking;
- Engage creatively, ethically and generate new ideas;
- Communicate a final idea/design concept/art project/innovative solution through a visual, virtual, and/or tangible manifestation or other mediums (this includes: short fiction, policy, performance, art installation, citizen science idea, community engagement activity, etc.)

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Braidotti, R. 2013. The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Manzini, E. 2017. Design, When Everybody Designs: An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation, MIT Press.
- Smith, R. 2007. How to Start a Successful Business. ISBN: 9780955550133
- Van der Sanden, M.C. and De Vries, M.J. 2016. Innovation in science and technology education and communication through design thinking. In Science and technology education and communication: seeking synergy, Sense Publishers, Rotterdam.

Supplementary Reading:

- Chappell, K. 2018. From wise humanising creativity to (posthumanising) creativity. In Creativity policy, partnerships and practice in education (pp. 279-306). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
- Gascoigne, T., Schiele, B., Leach, J., Riedlinger, M., Massarani, L., Lewenstein, B.V. and Broks, P. eds. 2020. Communicating Science: A global perspective. ANU Press.
- Helguera, P. 2011. Education for Socially Engaged Art, A Materials and Techniques Handbook. Jorge Pinto Books.

Supplementary Reading (Articles):

- Anunas, M. and Ingold, T. 2013. Designing Environmental Relations: From Opacity to Textility, DesignIssues: Volume 29, Number 4 Autumn 2013.
- Chappell, K., Charlotte, S., Alison, B., & Margo, G., with Craft, A. 2016. CREAT-IT: a new pedagogical framework for partnering the arts and science in science education. Unpublished article. University of Exeter.
- Dorst, K. 2011. The core of ‘design thinking’ and its application. Design Studies, 32, p. 521-532.
- Hetherington, L., Chappell, K., Keene, H.R., Wren, H., Cukurova, M., Hathaway, C., Sotiriou, S. and Bogner, F.l., 2019. International educators’ perspectives on the purpose of science education and the relationship between school science and creativity, Research in Science & Technological Education.
- Manzini, E. 2016. Design culture and dialogic design. Design Issues, 32(1), pp.52-59.
- Morgan, N. 2000. Notions of Transdisciplinarity: Recreating integrated knowledge, EOLSS, Oxford (2000), pp. 38-41.
- Jones, H and Lundebye, A. 2015. 'Designing Learning Scenarios for Sustainable Futures'. In: NORDES 2015 Design Ecologies: Challenging anthropocentrism in the design of sustainable futures. Konstfack – University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. Stockholm, Sweden, Sweden.
- Helgason, I., Rosenbak, S., Smyth, M. and Mitrović, I. 2015. “Discourse, Speculation and Disciplinarity: Designing Urban Futures”. In: NORDES 2015 Design Ecologies: Challenging anthropocentrism in the design of sustainable futures. Konstfack – University College of Arts, Crafts and Design. Stockholm, Sweden, Sweden.
- Klenk, N. 2018. From network to meshwork: Becoming attuned to difference in transdisciplinary environmental research encounters. Environmental Science & Policy, 89, pp.315-321.
- Mitrović, I. 2018. “Western Melancholy”: How to Imagine Different Futures in the “Real World”?

Online Resources:

- SITRA, Six point on the future of education
- SpeculativeEdu | Ivica Mitrović: It’s still possible to act to influence our future(s)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Fieldwork, Ind Study, Lect, Practicum & Grp Learn

Assessment Component/s Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Presentation (30 Minutes) 40%
Workbook 60%



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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2023/4. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.