Middlesex University, Cat Hill, Barnet,
Herts, England EN4 8H

The Art of Interdisciplinary Design - Academic Catalyst or Prion?

The Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design has been subverting the structures and traditions of Cambridge University for seven years. At the end of this journeyman period, we're asking what it means to be a designer in a university. Is it wise for intellectuals to aspire to studios of thinking, workshops, apprenticeships, cultures of making, client briefs and reflective practices? Or might design innovators, like Steerpike, be the Machiavellian arsonists of a research Gormenghast? Current research policy strongly favours interdisciplinary design thinking - but is this a catalyst for innovation or a prion that destroys it? This talk will present numerous examples of Crucible research, and reflect on public policy and best practice for interdisciplinary design and innovation.
About the speaker

Alan Blackwell was recently appointed to a Readership in Interdisciplinary Design at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, having prior qualifications in professional engineering, computing and experimental psychology. He has 20 years experience of designing industrial systems, electronic and software products. He has taught design courses and supervised postgraduate design research students in Computing, Architecture, Psychology, Languages, Music and Engineering. He is a fellow of Darwin College, a director of Living East, the cultural consortium for the East of England, and founding co-director of the Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design.

Official Website: http://www.cea.mdx.ac.uk/?location_id=85&item=21

Added by Kim Partridge on October 14, 2008

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