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  • Missing Miscommunication in Interdisciplinary Design Practice

Hall, Ashley and Torrisi, Savina, 2013, Journal Article, Missing Miscommunication in Interdisciplinary Design Practice Engineering and Product Design Education 2013, 1 (1). pp. 1-6. ISSN N/A

Abstract or Description:

Interdisciplinarity is a key ingredient in amplifying the breadth of design explorations and the ability
to merge different perspectives is essential for the future of design innovation. Several studies on
collaborative work emphasize and support this point of view, however creative collaboration can
trigger conflicts mainly due to interpretative differences between individuals with diverse disciplinary
backgrounds. A common conception in design and interdisciplinary practice assumes that
communications should be clear and effort should be made to reduce ambiguity in order to enhance
creativity and efficiency. However, a number of case studies from interdisciplinary collaborations
have indicated that the reverse may be true, that in fact miscommunications are a key ingredient of
creativity and serendipitous exploitation of different meanings can engender new innovative solutions.
Issues that arise in the course of interdisciplinary work can become a bridge or a barrier depending on
team context and the ability to identify and investigate the nature of these issues can broaden the
opportunity for translation. ‘I’ll take 9’ is a masters teaching module that was selected for analysis to
test the identification of miscommunications and the maximising of creative potentials. The findings
shed light on interdisciplinarity and question the assumption that clarity and the avoidance of
ambiguity in communication is a desired practice. Missing miscommunications emerges as a powerful
insight into design creativity across disciplines and signifies the opportunity of using diverse
interdisciplinary teams to creatively explore cultural, material, disciplinary and cognitive differences
to exploit the chaos in design systems.

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies > W240 Industrial/Product Design
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2013 14:31
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2013 14:31
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1519

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