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Which clippings match 'Disciplinary Knowledge' keyword pg.1 of 3
02 JANUARY 2013

Facing ambiguity differently across design, business and technology

"team[s] of students of mixed disciplines worked together to understand and map a problem–space (identified by the client). They then defined a solution–space before focussing on a particular opportunity outcome. The range of projects included incremental innovation opportunities represented by the Lego and Hasbro projects through radical Philips work to truly disruptive work with Unilever. The studies confirmed stereotypical view points of how different disciplines may behave. They showed that design students were more (but not completely) comfortable with the ambiguous aspects associated with 'phase zero' problem–space exploration and early stage idea generation. They would only commit to a solution when time pressures dictated that this was essential in order to complete the project deliverables on time and they were happy to experiment with, and develop, new methods without a clear objective in mind. In contrast, the business students were uncomfortable with this ambiguity and were more readily able to come to terms with incremental innovation projects where a systematic approach could be directly linked to an end goal. The technologists, were more comfortable with the notion of the ambiguous approach leading to more radical innovation, but needed to wrap this in an analytical process that grounded experimentation. Meanwhile, the designers were unclear and unprepared to be precise when it came to committing to a business model. "

(Mark Bailey, 2010, p.42)

Bailey, M. (2010). "Working at the Edges". Networks, Art Design Media Subject Centre (ADM–HEA). Autumn 2010.



2007ADM-HEAambiguityambiguity and uncertainty • ambiguous approach • analytical processapproaches to ambiguitybusinessbusiness modelclear objectivesclient needscollaboration • core competency • Cox Reviewdecision making • design outcome • design teamsdesign thinkingdisciplinary culturesdisciplinary knowledge • disruptive work • Dorothy Leonard-Barton • end goal • grounded experimentation • Hasbro • idea generationincremental innovationinnovation practice skillsinterdisciplinarityinterpretive perspective • learning cultures • LEGO • multidisciplinary design • multidisciplinary teamsNorthumbria Universityopen-ended process • pedagogical cultures • phase zero • Philips Researchproblem-solvingproblem-solving • problem-space • project deliverablesproject teamsradical innovationrequirements gatheringsolution-space • sub-disciplinary specialisation • systematic approach • T-shaped individuals • T-shaped people • T-shaped skillsthinking stylesUnileverworking methodsworking practices


Simon Perkins
05 NOVEMBER 2012

Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication: contextual studies, and enterprise and entrepreneurship

"The adaptability necessary to succeed as a design or media specialist comes not only from deep disciplinary knowledge. Graduates also need a breadth of knowledge and skills which some commentators have referred to as being 'T–Shaped'. These additional skills include the ability to work with and increasingly work across disciplines, entrepreneurial attitudes and a knowledge of the business contexts in which they will operate. All undergraduate Ravensbourne programmes incorporate curriculum and learning activities designed to develop these skills in our students. Cross–disciplinary collaborative projects offer students the opportunity to work in teams with other disciplines.

The course structure draws on the creative synergies and frictions of the different disciplines at Ravensbourne and provides physical and intellectual opportunities for students to meet, learn and work together with students from different disciplines."

(Ravensbourne, UK)



adaptability • breadth of knowledge • collaborative project • contextual studies • course designcourse finder • creative frictions • creative synergies • cross-disciplinarycurriculum designdesign graduatesdesign specialistdigital designdigital mediadisciplinary fieldsdisciplinary knowledge • enterprise and entrepreneurship • entrepreneurial attitudes • entrepreneurship • intellectual opportunities • knowledge of business contexts • learning activitieslearning experience • media specialists • Ravensbourne • Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication • sub-disciplinary fields • sub-disciplinesubject specialistsT-shaped skillsteam workUKundergraduate studentsworking across disciplines


Simon Perkins
31 MAY 2011

Majority of contemporary practice-based design PhDs use methodological bricolage

"A recent analysis of doctorates in design has identified four common characteristics of research approaches found in the exploration of practice–based design research questions [1]. They are: 1) a 'bricolage' approach to research design, 2) reflective practices, 3) the use of visual approaches and 4) thesis–structural innovation. These characteristics have been derived from an examination of a range of design theses and using a number of design research frameworks [2–4] to identify the epistemological and methodological models applied. This paper has chosen to focus on one of the four characteristics, the bricolage approach to method construction, as it is seen to be a common feature evident in all six studies. The bricolage method consists of combining methods from the social sciences, humanities, and hard sciences to derive a suitable model of inquiry.

While we acknowledge that design research investigates different issues that require studies into a range of subject areas such as the material, historical, scientific, social and psychological, the focus of this paper is the exploration of research questions derived from practice–based questions. In other words, it focuses on design activities that are used to generate new knowledge and understanding in and of itself.

We posit that the adoption of methodological bricolage is a necessity in design research due to the indeterminate nature of design. ...

Although Levi–Strauss introduced the concept of bricolage as a mode of acquiring knowledge, it was Denzin and Lincoln's [23] articulation of it within a methodological context that offered insight into new forms of rigour and complexity in social research. Nelson, Treichler and Grossberg describe bricolage (in the context of cultural studies methodology) as reflecting a choice of practice that is pragmatic, strategic and self–reflexive [24]. While Kincheloe [25] uses the term to describe multi–perspectival research methods, not just as the usage of mixed methods but to acknowledge that using methods from different disciplines enables the researcher to compare and contrast multiple points of view. Just as designed objects have prescribed affordances, methods automatically imply ontological and epistemological affordances. This relationship between inquiry and method affords design a useful indeterminacy, where not–knowing becomes a constructive loop that the bricoleur appears to be exploiting. As questions arise so methods to answer them are sought, abstracting platforms for design knowledge rather than concrete answers. Bricolage is a useful and necessary concept for design researchers as it allows them to deploy available and established strategies and methods, but also grants them the license to create new tools and techniques in order to address questions that are beyond the realm of the established discipline. Methodological bricolage permits the researcher to look at the problem we have with problems, as well as their solution. The bricoleur views research methods actively, rather than passively, meaning that the researcher actively constructs methods with tools at hand rather than accepting and using pre–existing methodologies [26]."

(Joyce S R Yee and Craig Bremner, 2011)

Fig.1 Danae Colomer, Gazpacho video portion of Food as Opera project.

2). Yee, J. S. R. and C. Bremner (2011). Methodological Bricolage – What does it tell us about Design? Doctoral Education in Design Conference. Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University.



abstract knowledge • abstracting platforms for design knowledge • academic norm • academic studies • anthropological sense • bricolage • bricolage approach • bricolage method • bricoleur • Cary Nelson • case studiesClaude Levi-Strauss • complexity in social research • concrete answers • concrete knowledge • constructive loop • creative fiddler • creative tinkerer • cultural studies methodologydesign discipline • design PhDs • design researchdesign research approachesdesign researcherdesignerdisciplinary knowledge • doctoral studies • engineer • epistemological affordances • established research methodologies • established research methodsestablished research strategies • Joe Kincheloe • Lawrence Grossberg • making-do • methodological bricolage • methodological contextmethodologiesmixed methodsmodel of enquiry • modes of acquiring knowledge • multi-perspectival research methods • multiperspectival • multiple points of view • new forms of rigour • new objects • new tools and techniques • Norman Denzin • not-knowing • ontological affordances • Paula Treichler • PhDPhD supervision • pick and mix • practice-based • practice-based design PhDs • practice-based researchresearch designresearch methodsresearch modelresearcher • Savage Mind • select and apply • social research • spontaneous creative act • the scientific mind • tools at hand • useful indeterminacy • whatever is available • Yvonna Lincoln


Simon Perkins
01 MAY 2011

Digital Libraries as a new discipline formed through the integration of concepts and epistemologies

"For [Erica] Schoenberger, academic disciplines are both an object of study, as well as a method of study. For example, anthropologists study culture through participant observation [Sch01]. Geographers may add place to the criteria that define a discipline; for example, historians study in archives. Forms of discourse, the rhetorical strategies, also vary among the disciplines; some are linguistic, while others are mathematical. Finally, evidence and epistemological commitments define a discipline. For Hurd, disciplinarity is defined by Roy as 'a field of knowledge which some minimum number of universities (say, 12–20) have established in departments labeled with the discipline's name.' [Hur92]. Disciplines are thus constructs as well as ways for controlling knowledge production. Disciplinary cultures produce objects and methods of study, the credentialed practitioners of the discipline, values and ways of knowing, and identities.

'The impact of knowledge on action – whether in the field of social or natural phenomena – forces interaction between the disciplines and even generates new disciplines. The 'inter–discipline' of today is the 'discipline' of tomorrow.' [INT72]. Therefore, proposing and structuring Digital Libraries as an academic inter–discipline is in one sense knowledge fragmentation but it also has the potential for unification. Since interdisciplinarity can be defined as the integration of concepts and epistemologies from different disciplines, digital libraries constitute a problem domain to which both LIS and Computing (among others) contribute. The only relevant question in this context is how can interdisciplinary DL education be truly achieved and disciplinary protectionism battles be avoided [Abb87]? Explicating the nature of the disciplines and professions involved may move us closer to the goal of interdisciplinary DL education."

(Anita Coleman, 2002)

Coleman, A. (July/August 2002). 'Interdisciplinarity: The Road Ahead for Education in Digital Libraries.' D–Lib Magazine 8(7/8).

[Sch01] E. Schoenberger. Interdisciplinarity and Social Power. Progress in Human Geography, 25 (3): 365–382, 2001

[Hur92] J. Hurd. The Future of University Science and Technology Libraries: Implications of Increasing Interdisciplinarity. Science and Technology Libraries, 13 (1): 17–32, Fall 1992.

[INT72] Interdisciplinarity: Problems of Teaching and Research in Universities. Paris, OECD, 1972.

[Abb87] A. Abbott. The System of Professions: An Essay on the Division of Expert Labor. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987.



academic disciplines • academic inter-discipline • computing • controlling knowledge production • credentialed practitioners • digital librariesdisciplinaritydisciplinary culturesdisciplinary knowledgedisciplinary protectionism • epistemological commitments • Erica Schoenberger • field of knowledge • forms of discourse • integration of concepts • integration of epistemologies • inter-discipline • interdisciplinarity • knowledge fragmentation • knowledge integration • knowledge unification • LIS • methods of study • new disciplines • objects of study • RCA • rhetorical strategies • university discipline • ways of knowing


Simon Perkins
01 MAY 2011

Stop funding Mickey Mouse degrees, says top scientist (a plea to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses)

"A leading scientist has attacked the government for funding students doing 'Mickey Mouse' degrees – and called for the money to be spent on science instead.

Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said degrees in celebrity journalism, drama combined with waste management, and international football business management – all of which exist – should be 'kicked into touch'.

Funds for the courses should be channelled into science degrees and research. ...

Pike said degree courses should reflect the challenges the country will face in the future, rather than an 'ephemeral demand that in 10 years' time will be viewed as a curiosity'. ...

'Funding for the sciences should be ringfenced so that, in effect, it becomes a more dominant component. This is not a question of pleading a special case. Such a move is essential if we are all to enjoy the lifestyle we have become accustomed to, and ensure that we are prepared for the changes that will affect us all in the future.

'We need a population with an enduring set of skills, such as an understanding of the physical world around us, literacy and communication, numeracy, and how to function and continue to learn in a complex society.'"

(Jessica Shepherd, 10 February 2010,

[While Dr Richard Pike is making a noble effort –it is a vain one. His plea is a naive attempt to stall the advancement of regionalising discourses (Bernstein 2000, p.52) as they continue to undermine the authority of the strong classification principles (Bernstein 2000, p.99) of the traditional European Enlightenment university disciplinary model (Nussbaum 1997; Weeks and Glyer 1998). His comments fail to recognise dramatic global technological and sociological changes (Beck, Giddens et al. 1994) which have accelerated the pace of change and whose needs steadily diminish the relevance and potency of traditional scholarly insight.

Beck, U., A. Giddens, et al. (1994). Reflexive Modernization Politics Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford California, Stanford University Press.

Bernstein, B. (2000). Pedagogy Symbolic Control and Identity Theory Research Critique. Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. Scholarship Reconsidered Priorities Of The Professoriate. New York, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 15–16.

Nussbaum, M. (1997). Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.

Weeks, D. L. and D. Glyer (1998). The Liberal Arts in Higher Education. Challenging Assumptions Exploring Possibilities. Lanham, Maryland, University Press of America.]



Alistair Darling • an enduring set of skills • celebrity journalism • classification principles • complex society • cultural forms • cuts and closures • disciplinary knowledgedisciplinary protectionismDrama with Waste ManagementEuropean Enlightenment • fundamental sciences • fundinghigher educationHigher Education Funding Council for England • international football business management • knowledge regionalisation • leading-edge work • Mickey Mousenumeracyphysical worldpublic money • put the genie back in the bottle • reflexive modernisationregionalisation of knowledge • regionalising discourses • research fundingRichard Pike • ringfencing • Royal Society of Chemistry • RSCscholarshipscience • traditional scholarly endeavour • university degrees • university disciplinary model • vertical discourses • waste management


Simon Perkins

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