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