EVALUATING INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION — TOWARDS A METHODOLOGY
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Hillner, Matthias; Lim, Stanley
Institution: LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Section: Design Education Practice
‘… the [collaboration] process itself can be unstable and troublesome’  How can design courses approach interdisciplinary collaboration effectively? This paper extracts a few key insights from Mark Dodgson’s article on ‘Collaboration and Innovation Management’  which focuses mainly on collaboration in a commercial setting. The paper proposed here identifies empirically the similarities and differences between academic and industrial collaboration through comparing results-driven and process-oriented approaches. This will be supported through a comparative study of two interdisciplinary student collaboration initiatives in the field of design management. The first example, the Entrepreneurs Challenge, which was staged for several consecutive years at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, will be compared to the teaching of Design Business and Innovation, a curriculum component that has been introduced at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore in 2016. Through comparing these two undergraduate teaching and learning initiatives the paper will assess the effectiveness of interdisciplinary collaboration in relation to the teaching of designbusiness-related skills.
The discussion will concentrate on the following key questions:
1. How do design institutions approach interdisciplinary collaboration?
2. To what extent can quantitative assessment processes be deployed for the evaluation of the
effectiveness of interdisciplinary initiatives in design education?
3. Can insights and concepts in the area of design thinking and open innovation help to foster a
methodical approach to managing interdisciplinary collaboration in an academic context?
A list of insights will conclude the paper.