A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration of Core Values

By Young Lee and Pat Crawford.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Interdisciplinary learning is crucial for building students’ critical thinking to solve complex and multi-dimensional issues in contemporary society. This is emerging as a standard 21st century learning goal in higher education environmental design disciplines, such as planning, landscape architecture, interior design and architecture. However, the common values connecting these disciplines are rarely explored in a systematic manner. This paper intends to explain a method and a process of how to identify common core values between built environment relevant disciplines, and how they can interconnect to foster interdisciplinary learning. After the School of Planning, Design and Construction was formed at Michigan State University, USA, common core values across the four disciplines were explored via a visual assessment study to assist in development of the School. The four professional disciplines included Landscape Architecture, Interior Design, Urban Planning and Construction Management. As a preliminary framework, an integrated vision of the School was crafted, articulating five core values: Seamless Integration, Deeply Informed, Directly Engaged, Sustainable, and Creative. These five values were explored in the visual assessment survey with stakeholders across the School with eight images. A Total of 487 stakeholders participated in the survey, including students, practitioners, community/industry partners and faculty/staff. The finding suggested that stakeholders across the four disciplines most and equally valued Seamless Integration, Deeply Informed, and Creative. This indicates that they valued integrated approach to creatively solving problems based on deep professional knowledge. This work is a suggestive framework to achieve true interdisciplinary learning in an academic unit. The study method and process can help to identify core values across disciplines to create a cross-disciplinary professional and academic environment to solve 21st century problems together.

Keywords: Interdisciplinary Values, Visual Assessment, Stakeholder Participation

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.49-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.654MB).

Dr. Young Lee

Assistant Professor, School of Planning, Design & Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Dr. Young S. Lee is Assistant Professor of Interior Design at School of Planning, Design, and Construction at Michigan State University (MSU). She received a Ph.D. in Interior Design from the University of Minnesota and a M.IArch in Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon. Her areas of teaching expertise include visual communication, building information modeling, digital representation of design, as well as design process. She has taught such classes as design studios, computer-aided design, place attachment, presentation and media, advanced communication methods at the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University. Her current research involves pedagogy in design and planning, evaluation of indoor environmental quality in green buildings including LEED-certified buildings, long-term care facility design and evaluation, and use of building information modeling for green indoor environment.

Dr. Pat Crawford

Senior Director, Bailey Scholars Program, School of Planning, Design & Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Pat Crawford is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture in the School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) and Senior Director of the Bailey Scholars Program at Michigan State University. She received her BS in Horticulture from the University of Missouri – Columbia, Master’s of Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University and Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning from Arizona State University. She is a licensed Landscape Architect and has nine years practice experience with the Missouri Division of State Parks. Through the scholarship of teaching and learning she pursues studies in integrative learning, active learning, community based learning, problem based learning and study abroad. Committee work with SPDC includes chairing the Undergraduate Affairs and Curriculum Committee and the Technology Committee. She is a also a member of two faculty learning communities, “Evaluating Teaching Excellence”. Teaching experience includes landscape architectural hand design graphics, computer graphics, site design, master planning, community design, and site engineering.


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