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Designing Transdisciplinary Practice will bring together 18 students from across three faculties (with skills from across the fields of design, communication, marketing, management, policy, anthropology, sociology and exhibition design) with 10 interdisciplinary collaborators to trigger innovation by contributing their specific disciplinary strengths to real world problems. The focus of this semester’s course will be an innovation injection for palliative care:
The world is ageing. Healthcare is approaching crisis point. But what opportunities are being missed? Palliative care is one of many medical specialties that will come under pressure from an ageing population, increases in chronic diseases such as diabetes and dementia, workforce shortages, a declining tax base and rising healthcare costs. Demands on this system are about to grow exponentially. A burgeoning market of informed, financially-independent consumers is also anticipated. Palliative care needs an innovation injection.
This course asks you to work in transdisciplinary teams to propose and prototype solutions to reframe public perceptions of palliative care; or perhaps to rethink the very nature of this healthcare service. Speculative solutions may include (but will not be limited to): a documentary or exhibition, a series of editorial pieces for a local newspaper, a proposal for health policy reform or organisational restructure, a medical education programme, a health care app, a podcast, or a speculative architecture / product design.
We want you to tell us what palliative care needs most.
This exciting new pilot subject draws on the pedagogy that underpins MIT’s Media Lab, the theories of ‘epistemic fluency’ and ‘creative abrasion’; and on prior experiments in interdisciplinary learning from Johns Hopkins University that sought to enrich marketing and management practice through exposure to ‘design thinking’. These all operate on the theory that bringing together people who think and act in different ways will provide opportunities to act in a capacity more akin to professional practice and to trigger innovation. It has been made possible by a UniMelb Learning and Teaching Innovation Grant.
This subject is delivered by the Melbourne School of Design in collaboration with the Centre for Palliative Care.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- Identify a need within a complex problem space (through critical analysis), frame a research question and respond to that by proposing a relevant solution to the problem.
- Demonstrate an awareness of how to draw on one’s own disciplinary knowledge to solve real-world problems within an interdisciplinary environment.
- Practice relational expertise; the ability to communicate and collaborate within project teams with others who are unfamiliar with the methods for conducting research and problem solving within one’s own discipline.
- Demonstrate a critical capacity to conduct research and solve problems, including an awareness of ‘design-thinking’ and how this can be employed across various fields of research.
- Strategise and deliver an innovative, design-based solution to a complex real-world problem.
- Upon completion of this subject students will have developed the skills to : • Identify a need within a complex problem space (through critical analysis), frame a research question to respond to that by proposing a relevant, design-based solution to the problem. • Skills in interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. • Strategise and deliver an innovative, design-based solution to a complex real-world problem.
Last updated: 2 December 2019