The central focus of academia has been to accumulate, develop and disseminate knowledge. Over the centuries, much of the knowledge creation in universities has occurred in disciplinary silos and lonely ivory towers. Today, many contemporary research universities are restructuring in response to the power and potential of new forces including the deluge of our hyper information culture, the acceleration of revolutions in advanced technologies, and an expectation that universities catalyze economic activity with the emergence of a global race for strategic competitive advantage.
These forces require adaptations in the nature of knowledge production. Adaptations include the creation of new kinds of knowledge (new kinds of WHAT: emerging fields like cognitive science or biomedical engineering, for example) and shifts in the way knowledge is created (new kinds of HOW: processes like interdisciplinary research in the academy and team knowledge generation using external alliances).
In light of the new forces in our world and shifts in how knowledge may be created, what new opportunities and initiatives are available to designers and design educators in research universities? This session will feature university design programs that are engaging in work in these new territories.