Call for Proposals

Interdisciplinary Design

We are currently seeking collaborating departments or schools interested in conducting an intensive interdisciplinary design workshop to learn studio models to teach engineering and architectural design in a way that effectively integrates technical, social/cultural, and aesthetic issues.

Design as a Creative Model for Technical Inquiry” seeks teams of 5-9 faculty members from diverse disciplines to participate in an intense 5-day workshop on team building and interdisciplinary design during the summer of 2004. The $10,000 fellowship per institution will pay for all faculty and/or graduate students who participate in the workshop. Fellows may be asked to lead future workshops and/or consult to other institutions. The deadline for proposals is September 30, 2003. Successful proposals will need to make a commitment that an elective or required course, in engineering departments, schools, or collaboratively with engineers, founded on the workshop’s principles of interdisciplinarity will be delivered within 12 months of the completion of the workshop. Successful proposals will be notified by November 15, 2003.

Design as a Creative Model for Technical Inquiry is a 2-year project funded by the National Science Foundation to better prepare future teachers for the complex, multidisciplinary challenges of the twenty-first century. There is a demand for leaders trained to understand problems from multiple perspectives and to integrate these perspectives into creatively designed solutions. To achieve these goals, we believe, design education, and increasingly all disciplines, must provide concrete experience in integrating first-rate technical competence with a thorough understanding of the social and cultural context of technologies and the design processes that shape them. This multidisciplinary approach to design education demands that the relevant knowledge base be expanded to include facility and expertise not currently being required of architecture, engineering and other design students. This same demand for a synthetic approach in disciplinary work has the potential to draw diverse and minority communities, previously not attracted to engineering, architecture and other design fields to enlist in a more interdisciplinary environment that may have more political authority while addressing the social, aesthetic as well as the technical.

The intent is to use these directed workshops, meetings, website with updated research, data and advising support network to implant in universities the intellectual resources to take on their own projects of cross-disciplinary design.

Workshop participants will have resource kits, participate in a guided interdisciplinary design charrette and develop exercises to implement at their home institutions. Design as a Creative Model for Technical Education will generate an ever-increasing library of case studies published on the Web; increase the number of faculty and graduate students that are comfortable in the interdisciplinary landscape; and ultimately develop clear strategies and future designers for the complex interdisciplinary problems that the 21st century poses.

For additional information about Design as a Creative Model for Technical Education see the Project Description.

Calendar of Interdisciplinary Design Workshops:

  • Summer 2003 Hampton University – July 14-18, 2003
  • Summer 2003 University of Colorado – August 3-8, 2003
  • Summer 2004 RFP awarded regional training session
  • Summer 2004 RFP awarded regional training session

If you have any questions about the proposal, please do not hesitate to contact me:

Frances Bronet
Acting Senior Vice President and Provost, University of Oregon
541-346-3186 phone