Katja FLEISCHMANN

Overcoming disciplinary boundaries in undergraduate design education: preparing digital media design students for collaborative multidisciplinary research practice

Abstract:

The increasing complexity of digital media design technology has moved the industry away from work by individual designers towards collaborative teams. This change is not always reflected in digital media design education where effective, collaborative and multidisciplinary learning and teaching environments are the exception rather than the norm.

Recent educational models such as schools of design thinking (d.schools) emphasise that radical research and innovation are most successful in multidisciplinary teams. Facilitation of collaborations across disciplines is a challenge for educators in the university environment, hence collaborations tend to occur at the postgraduate level. An earlier introduction to multidisciplinary practice is recommended in order to prepare students for postgraduate design education and work in the design industry.

The POOL Model, a new learning and teaching model for digital media design education,is currently being developed and tested at the School of Creative Arts at James Cook University. It is a multidisciplinary system of interdependent collaboration and expertise exchange across university, industry and community sectors, implemented at undergraduate level in order to prepare students for collaborative multidisciplinary research practice as an integrated part of the curriculum.

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Katja FLEISCHMANN:

Katja Fleischmann lectures in digital media design and new media arts at the School of Creative Arts at James Cook University since 2007. She has been teaching for six years as Professor for the Design of Print and Online Media at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany and before that, she was Assistant Professor for Graphics and Multimedia Design at the City University of New York. She has taught, studied and worked in Miami, New York, London, Bournemouth, Wuerzburg and Berlin.

Her current research is focused on her PhD topic: Managing the Increasing Complexity of Technology in Design Education.