Abstract

Inter-professional collaboration is a necessity when tackling the challenges of sustainability. Sustainable design requires a transdisciplinary approach, based on a broader view of the problem, constructed by several experts, and oriented towards a shared goal. This type of activity requires two-fold reflection between the professional knowledge and shared understanding, with the aid of conceptual artifacts and instruments. The strengths of design thinking and practice can benefit such iteration. This article studies inter-professional knowledge creation in a context of sustainable design education. Furthermore, it is implying activity theory and its concept of expansive learning to better assess the process of knowledge co-creation in such context. According to its theoretical understanding the contradictions emerge from specific actors within the shared problem space, between the interacting activity systems related to epistemic traditions and historical development of the collaboration. This paper describes a case example to showcase the approach by activity theory in understanding transdisciplinary design activities. Data is gathered from student feedback of a Master’s programme that aims into interprofessional expertise, and then assessed through the aforementioned theoretical scope. Aim is to position further research and development within the programme. Findings suggest improvements that help to develop better instruments, management and setting for the education of future design collaborators promoting sustainability in their practice.

Keywords

sustainable design education, inter-professional design collaboration, transdisciplinarity, activity theory, expansive learning

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Between a Problem Context and a Problem Setting: Twofold reflection in Interprofessional design collaboration for sustainability

Inter-professional collaboration is a necessity when tackling the challenges of sustainability. Sustainable design requires a transdisciplinary approach, based on a broader view of the problem, constructed by several experts, and oriented towards a shared goal. This type of activity requires two-fold reflection between the professional knowledge and shared understanding, with the aid of conceptual artifacts and instruments. The strengths of design thinking and practice can benefit such iteration. This article studies inter-professional knowledge creation in a context of sustainable design education. Furthermore, it is implying activity theory and its concept of expansive learning to better assess the process of knowledge co-creation in such context. According to its theoretical understanding the contradictions emerge from specific actors within the shared problem space, between the interacting activity systems related to epistemic traditions and historical development of the collaboration. This paper describes a case example to showcase the approach by activity theory in understanding transdisciplinary design activities. Data is gathered from student feedback of a Master’s programme that aims into interprofessional expertise, and then assessed through the aforementioned theoretical scope. Aim is to position further research and development within the programme. Findings suggest improvements that help to develop better instruments, management and setting for the education of future design collaborators promoting sustainability in their practice.

 

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