Overview of the Labs

Building the University of Utopia

This exercise is designed to fit into Lab 2 and can be used to set the scene for the subject of interdisciplinarity that will be a focus of this Lab. It also provides a focus on the world that most participants will work in and lets them think about it from another perspective. It is a practical, creative exercise that requires group work. The objective is to think about how the structures that exists in academia prevent collaboration across disciplines amongst other things! By thinking about better or even utopian systems they can start thinking about the small ways they might be able to change their own behaviour to work in a more interdisciplinary way.

The group’s task is to come up with a new model for a utopian institution where there are no barriers to working with other disciplines, where career structures allow for a diversity of staff and relationships with business and the local community flourish. The groups have 90 minutes to complete five tasks and there is a printed participant brief to provide to the groups. The activity needs very little introduction as the brief is self-explanatory. The models can be actual physical 3D models, or drawings and descriptions – it’s up to you to decide how ambitious you want to be here.

The downloadable documents provide more detailed information on running this section and a brief for participants.