Navigating Disciplinarities
The transfer of concepts or methods from one field to another is crucial to design, innovation and invention. It is essential to enable students to learn how to navigate disciplinarities i.e. to move freely between them, instead of remaining stuck or occupying territory between them. To this end, it is essential for the student to cultivate specific attitudes to learning.

The first is the ability to navigate ambiguity and uncertainty, as these are increasingly the characteristics of the world we and the future generations will inhabit. An approach that encourages fluid movement between disciplinary boundaries and even a crossover into unknown territory can be thoughtfully integrated into the design of assignments and courses in a curriculum. The second is an openness to experience and receptiveness, not just to diverse and divergent ideas, but also to other people, cultures, and values. Designers need to be acutely aware of the diversity and plurality of the world they inhabit and design for. This requires a considerably expanded world view, which, again, can be integrated into a syllabus. Finally, the third attitude vital to a designer is a high reflexive ability, combined with a strong character. To reflect in action and on action; to evaluate one’s work and its consequences not just on individuals but also on society at large; and a willingness to engage in “conscientious resistance”48 are critical traits for the responsible designer.

  1. read Malcolm McCullough in Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand (1996).