The Future of Transdiciplinary Design Workshop 2013

This week I have attended the international workshop “The Future of Transdisciplinary Design” in Luxembourg and presented some of my work on collaboration management. The aim of this workshop is to take a look at the different meanings and understandings of Transdisciplinary Design, by bringing together academics from different fields in Engineering, Architecture and Design.

Although many different approaches have been presented and passionate debates defending different perspectives have taken place, I think all participants agreed on something: the need for it. The need for considering and integrating different aspects of a product, service or system in order to develop higher quality outcomes requires of the knowledge and mutual understanding of different fields of expertise. What was not agreed upon was on the ‘what that exactly means’ or the ‘how we can do it better’.

The discrepancy on priorities and the different understanding of concepts and procedures arose from most of the presentations. And this challenge is not unique of a sector. All of them have a variety of aspects to consider: financial limitations and commercial value, technical or technological restrictions for implementation, human emotional and functional aspects…

And just the same happens in the creative industries as we often struggle to balance the artistic and commercial value of our projects and need to integrate conceptual design, artwork, digital or physical interfaces, technology, appeal to the audience, funding requirements, marketing costs…

Regarding the ‘how to do it’ there have been a variety of proposals. From a leading field gathering and incorporating the different aspects as the project develops, to having a completely organic and dynamic management in which each discipline chips in as it is needed. With any of both approaches, I guess the key is in involving the right experts before it is too late for their input to be considered.

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