2021 Methodology of Transdisciplinary Research:theory and practice

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering
Nohara Kayoko 
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Course description and aims

We all live in various daily single frames.
One person works in a hospital, another does programming as a job, while another may drive a garbage collection truck.Within these lives, medical equipment, personal computers, waste incinerators are present.It is not too much to see these lives and equipment as “fragments”.
However when these “fragments” are seen as a totality, it may be you don’t see the workings of the modern city. Looking at the connections between the fragments beforehand, maybe we can see that there is a future world involving the fusion of lifestyles and science and technology and we may get a hint to think more of these dynamics.

In this exercise we will be teaching with a diversity of fields and tutors, examples of creative fusion, and together look for hints for new industries and business, and academic research. We can call this activity “the fusion lab”.
Specifically, focusing on fields which are aware of visual and lifestyle, while learning through specific examples and methods applied to themes of urban design, fashion, education, information, international collaboration etc., we will provide experience of the process of assembling your own ideas of fusion.
This year we will think transdisciplinary actions and attitudes together with Heather Barnett from Central Saint Martins, UAL, through experiencing art and science in theory and practice.

Student learning outcomes

You will learn ways of thinking and various sources of information- in particular “how to activate one’s own thinking and actions to achieve fusion”.Specifically, bringing together knowledge from science, technological fields with art, design, communication theory, history and social sciences, we will provide case studies on the creative process for new discoveries and topics, so you can apply these yourself.

Course taught by instructors with work experience

Applicable How instructors' work experience benefits the course
Heather Barnett is a professional artist who has an abundant experiences of creative practice.


transdiscipline, technology, media, art, history, society

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Fragmentation of knowledge is a contemporary problem in communication. You will learn how to create your own narrative our of necessary elements to share your ideas with people from diverse backgrounds.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction: re-thinking transdisciplinarity   theories + open discussion How to translate (or interpret) something from fresh perspectives    using various methods/tools Art and Science Methods analysis Tasks -
Class 2 Trans/disciplinary methods analysis: Transdisciplinary projects/artworks are selected and described (inc. UK and Japanese). Students work in small groups to identify the methods related to the work and plot them on a matrix (with some research activity online). -
Class 3 Observing, hacking and translating natural phenomona -
Class 4 Forced Connections exercise: connecting 3 elements (e.g. science/art/context) Thought experiment in creative thinking -
Class 5 points of convergence in history, examples of transdisciplinary thinking/doing? -
Class 6 Other creative thinking tools and developmental activity. Devising questions? -
Class 7 Student presentations of proposed projects from Forced Connections exercise. -
Class 8 Recapping on themes, learning gained. Revisit the miro board. -

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.



Reference books, course materials, etc.


Assessment criteria and methods

attendance, performance, discussion

Related courses

  • LAW.X401 : Science Communication for Global Talents - Overseas Programme
  • TSE.C314 : Environment and Society
  • LAW.X316 : Approaches to Creative Expression
  • LAW.X314 : Editorial Designing in the Media
  • LAW.X315 : Science & Engineering Design for Global Talents -Overseas Programme
  • TSE.C203 : Social Design Project

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

TSE.C317-01 in English, 13:30-16:30 Friday, starting from 7 Dec. South5-407A
TSE.C317-02 in Japanese, 金曜3・4限, starting from 30 Nov. South5-S514

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