A NEW PARADIGM IN CROSS-DISCIPLINARY UNDERGRADUATE ART AND DESIGN EDUCATION
DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Wilgeroth, Paul
Institution: Carfiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
Section: New Design Paradigms
In 2010, against a background of rising student complaints, the staff at Cardiff School of Art & Design
(CSAD) decided to review its undergraduate provision. The findings of that review revealed that the
school had inadvertently developed a ‘silo mentality’ where each subject area was perceived to be
closed to students from other subject areas. This was frustrating the students as they found it difficult
to access specialist materials and workshop equipment, hence the rise in student complaints.
The school resolved to address these issues by radically redesigning the entire undergraduate provision
and to validate a new scheme that actively encouraged openness, transparency and cross disciplinarily.
The first part of this paper describes the structure of this radical new undergraduate scheme and
explains how it has transformed the student experience at CSAD into a true cross disciplinary learning
environment. The second part is a case study of the success of a student studying under this scheme and illustrates
how they have crossed traditional subject boundaries and used materials and techniques that the
previous scheme inhibited.