Supporting knowledge creation in design-led multidisciplinary education

Bailey, Mark (2021) Supporting knowledge creation in design-led multidisciplinary education. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral Thesis)
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The case for this PhD by published works is based on reflection on a 32-year career in design practice and higher education. In particular it focuses on the analysis of 12 years of action research in design-led multidisciplinary innovation education that employs an iterative, enquiry-based, constructivist, group-learning pedagogy.

Contemporary design is operating in an ‘expanded field’, working across public, private and third sectors to address increasingly complex, networked and rapidly-evolving situations which call for a multidisciplinary approach. In such contexts individuals able to use design to facilitate knowledge-creation within diverse multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder groups have a particularly valuable role to play.

This study is built on the premise that the act of designing represents a creative, constructive synthesis of knowledge drawn from different disciplines. Design, in this case, is positioned as a facilitatory practice, conceptualised by the author as Co-Speculative Knowledge Venturing (C-SKV), which offers a means of bringing a diverse multiplicity of knowledge, expertise and experience to bear in pursuit of opportunities within a given situation. Such synthesis by design provides a knowledge platform for innovation.

The contents and meaning of the publications upon which this claim for PhD by Published Works is based have been analysed as a data source in light of existing theories of design, innovation and pedagogy and with reference to the author’s own tacit knowledge. The author has then used an iterative, reflective, Research Through Design methodology to synthesise his findings in order to establish a supporting framework for design-led multidisciplinary innovation education.

Within the educational context of the study the author identifies that C-SKV allows new combinations of knowledge, within a given situation, to be explored and thereby new knowledge to be created within three domains: knowledge for, and of, the project situation; knowledge about practices, methods and tools for designing; and knowledge of self.

The author proposes that, in pursuit of such knowledge-creation, students experience significant, and repeated, periods of uncertainty in a liminal learning state. His primary contribution is a framework, described as a Liminal Learning Lab, which provides a ‘safe environment’ to support multidisciplinary learning by engagement with these three domains of knowledge-creation supported by three pillars; Actions, Attitudes and Actors.

This framework is now supporting developments in multidisciplinary education here and overseas and has value for those seeking to develop such education and for organisations seeking to establish a multidisciplinary learning culture. It provides a platform for further research into liminality in knowledge-creation within such multidisciplinary social learning settings.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Design Education, Design-led Innovation, Multidisciplinary Innovation, Creativity, Creative Confidence
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy by published work
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2021 07:18
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 10:00

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