Flowing from a curriculum review and strategic re-direction of the School of Creative Arts from 2015 to 2017, this paper details an approach to designing ‘valuable’ degrees in the service of future-oriented, place-based concerns. The place in focus could be equally labelled ‘wicked Tasmania’ for its demographic and educational attainment challenges, or ‘design island’ for its rich traditions and cultures of making, beginning with the Aboriginal Tasmanians. Amid a phase of unprecedented creative production in Tasmania, four themes have been deemed ‘valuable’ to the island state: creative communities, creative technology, creative health, and creative industries.
In our thematic and post-disciplinary conception of curricula, once discreet disciplines are wilfully subsumed and re-oriented to intersect with ‘foreign’ disciplines such as health, science, community services and tourism, and socially-located practices outside the university. Such boundary crossing pursued via these thematics is not an end in itself; rather it is positioned in the service of the Tasmanian communities and industries with which we partner, as well as institutional goals for graduates.
Taking perspectives from curriculum design, place and cultural value, we outline the re-design of a statewide degree targeting the educational goals of Tasmania: the Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA). We highlight the thematic underpinnings, course design principles, and dialogue between disciplinary and contextual curriculum elements. Finally, we propose that discerning and delivering value, through the critical engagement of creativity with the specifics of place, becomes the key transferable skill of our future BCA graduates.