Designing Interdisciplinarity: A Toolkit of Methods

Designing Interdisciplinarity toolkit cover - drawn group of people working on objects on wall together. Example of card for project ideation.

We are excited to introduce ‘Designing Interdisciplinarity: A toolkit of methods for designing interdisciplinary collaboration & leadership.’ Created by leading Design scholar Professor Cara Wrigley and experienced Design educator Ms Genevieve Mosely, with support of project team members, the toolkit facilitates discussion, planning and collaboration within interdisciplinary teams.

Toolkit box and assorted card for Designing Interdisciplinarity.

Presented in a colourful box, the toolkit is divided into five themes – Teams, Projects, Partners, Outputs & Impact and Infrastructure – each of which has 10 method cards to provide prompts and structure for working together. The 50 cards range widely, with methods such as the conversation-starter ‘Team Tattoo’ through exercises in ‘Project Logic Mapping,’ ‘Realising Research Value’ and ‘Creating Spaces for Interdisciplinary Teamwork.’
There are also blank method cards to design your own, as the inspiration takes you.

The toolkit aims to break down barriers, align team members and create optimal conditions for effective work, improving communication and transforming how teams collaborate. The tools can be used at the beginning of a collaboration, as warm ups in meetings, or when specific problems need attention. Many of the tools can be used for institutional planning or by individuals as well as teams.

The toolkit is based on research with institutes, teams and individuals in the University of Sydney and University of Queensland over three years in our ARC Discovery Project on Interdisciplinary Expertise in Universities. Thank you very much to all who have contributed!

We have a request: if you use methods from the toolkit, we rely on your feedback to understand its usefulness and how to improve it. A QR code on the toolkit links to a simple survey for all toolkit users, with the option of uploading your own card ideas.

We have a limited number of extra toolkits which we can give to interested interdisciplinary teams, interdisciplinary course leaders and facilitators. If you are keen to use the toolkit and happy to give us your feedback, please contact natalie.spence@sydney.edu.au.

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