Since 2000, there has been a significant shift within the fields of art and design, with the dissolving of disciplinary boundaries. Creative interlopers are choosing to defy traditional classification, and ground-breaking studios are reconfiguring the design landscape. Yet undergraduate design education is still dominated by a uni-disciplinary, siloed mindset and structure. This situation is creating a disconnection between design practice and education, and poses critical questions for the immediate future of design learning and teaching in higher education. Universities must now take risks to address this disconnection. This presentation examines these issues and presents the new hybrid BA (Hons) Art and Design with Creative Technologies course at Birmingham City University. The course challenges traditional disciplinary silos within Higher Education to create a cutting-edge, polymathic programme that explores the intersection between art and design, with the implementation of new creative digital technologies. Informed by PhD research, and co-created with leading industry partners, educators, researchers and students, the course responds to the rapidly evolving creative industries. This is a Beta Mode course, a constant work in progress, that focuses on rapid learning and experimentation. Located within a laboratory studio environment, students navigate through Labs that represent the fundamentals of the interdisciplinary design process. Students drive the development of the course, engaging in real-world challenges while they question, explore, experiment, make, play and create together. This interdisciplinary pedagogical model will enable graduates to think in ways that are more holistic, fluid and radical, to better face the challenges of the 21st Century.
Lara has 20 years professional experience working internationally across many art and design disciplines, a degree in Three-Dimensional Design from Manchester Metropolitan University, and a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is Course Director for the Art and Design with Creative Technologies course at Birmingham City University, UK. Lara’s research interests have emerged directly from her professional practice and her PhD examines the processes of internationally renowned UK design studios, and the implications for design pedagogy and support policy.