SOL:id Interdisciplinary Q & A Series Launch

by stronged

Went to an RMIT hosted interdisciplinary talk this evening. It was very difficult to pry myself away from the multiple assessment tasks due in next week but felt it was an opportunity that would potentially add to my research. I have become increasingly fascinated by the differing approaches each discipline has to research at RMIT. This has become apparent due to the entangling conversations, panel discussions and presentations conducted through the Research Strategies Lectures this semester. There seems to be a coalition forming between the design schools (Architecture, Interior, Industrial, Art, Urban, Landscape, and Media and Comms) built on mutual respect and appreciation for each varying style of research.

Tonight was no exception. Although, perhaps a little too insular for my liking. The panel consisted of two architects from the Hassell Studio, Robbie Napper from the Industrial Design school at Monash, and Ewan Mceoin from Propeller.

The MC, Michael Trudgeon kicked off the series of presentations and subsequent panel discussion by highlighting that the discipline of design has become far more about designing systems than things. Hassell emphasised that Design is about a conversation to which Napper added all products are created by an intricate collaboration of designers, engineers and manufacturers.

I was most interested in Mceoin’s angle, despite the chip-on-the-shoulder he seems to wear heavily, the work he does at Propeller is of a sustainable and humanitarian nature. To paraphrase his definition of what they do: Propeller creates a curatorial premise to enable a creative conversation and collaboration to deliver an altruistic, impactful outcome for a community.

The term “generalist” was new to me throughout this event. It seems to be a term used within the design industry to describe the role of creative moderator or the ‘big picture’ person. The link that ties all other specialists together.

From what Mceoin was saying, Propeller seems to take a brief from a client, translate it into a creative solution, then realise this premise by forming a team of specialists into a productive collaboration.

The idea of being this moderator or “generalist” truly appeals to me. I have always been drawn to the conceptual side of things, and find collaborating with talented specialists to be an incredibly fulfilling experience. I have always come at creating film from an organisational place, managing others to help me realise my vision. However, I am also enriched by working on other people’s visions as long as the project is meaningful to me.

Before I jettisoned back to the Honours Lab to continue working on my Futures essay, I heard a cautionary statement from the panel: In order to be a transdisciplinary or multidisciplinary practitioner you must first become a specialist in one area in order to work from a solid skills-base. Hence why transdisciplinary study only becomes an option in post-graduate study I guess.

I have been wondering about contacting someone from the Architecture school to have a conversation about Desire Paths. I had a quick look on the RMIT library database and found no articles on it. I shall give it another go once I make a better start on my second Precursor.

I feel as though Desire Paths are related to Deleuze and Guattari’s Lines of Flight. I’ve been trying to mind-map this out but keep hitting a brick wall. The only correlation I seem to make is that they are rebellious acts that produce creative insight or new linkages/assemblages. Both defy the norm and seem to be instigated by an intuitive practice. There has always been something about the rebellious spark within people that fascinates me. I know I am often perplexed by the way I automatically rebel against figures of authority or situations that call for change.

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