Interdisciplinarity

Coursework, Creative Arts 1.1 Experience Creative Arts, Creative Arts BA (Hons), Project 3: Understanding Interdisciplinarity, Research & Reflection

I thought it would be useful to write down some of my ideas about what interdisciplinarity is before I properly embark on this unit, to see how my ideas evolve as I learn more about it.

For me, it seems a modern phenomenon to separate out ideas into academic subjects. When you look back at ancient times in the early days of academia, people studied far more holistically. The greats of Aristotle, Plato etc weren’t experts in one subject, they interweaved ideas to make new areas of study. Then over time, we seem to have become more and more streamlined in our thinking. In doing so, I think we have lost a lot of creativity and thinking.

Interdisciplinary working uses a range of disciplines to create something new. It involves transforming and creating a new language out of an integrated approach to both thinking and working. Its practical nature reaches outwards and therefore requires us to form connections with ideas from a broader cultural context.

OCA learning materials

This is getting back to a purer ore innate way of looking at the world. It is how children discover new things and learn. Young children don’t do “Art” and “Maths”, they make marks in the mud, count buttons, construct sculptures from sticks, make music using spoons and their plates.

Interdisciplinarity Definitions

Image from learn.oca.ac.uk

I like this visual image on the oca learn site to explain what interdisciplinarity is. It goes beyond a cross-discipline (viewing one discipline from the position of another) and multidiscipline (working with different areas of study at the same time as separate entities) to more integrative practice.

Interdisciplinarity is the study of two or more disciplines with concepts from both the arts and broader global views with the aim to form something new (hybridised).

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