Building the framework for educational change through interdisciplinary design learning: Case studies from the Faculty of the Built Environment, University of NSW

Year: 2004

Author: Corkery, Linda, Quinlan, Ann, Castle, Jane, Marshall, Nancy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In meeting the expectations of communities, industry and national government, universities are not only required to demonstrate their capacity to produce and disseminate knowledge but also to facilitate the application of this knowledge for social benefit. The professional disciplines in the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, with their emphasis on practical knowledge and interdisciplinary modes of inquiry, are well placed to contribute to this prospect and demonstrate Ernest Boyer's model for the scholarships of integration and application.

This paper describes three innovative educational experiences undertaken in the Faculty. These projects focus on design learning and interactions with students from four disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture and industrial design. They illustrate how productive social knowledge can be generated through collaborative interactions between the university, students in educational settings, government and its agencies, industry and community. In that process, new possibilities for teaching and learning have evolved, along with opportunities for raising awareness of social issues and instituting positive change.

In presenting these case studies, this paper seeks to demonstrate the synergistic potential between universities and communities to provide unique teaching and learning opportunities and innovative solutions to benefit community.