Training Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Manizales, Columbia..call for key resources

Colleagues

We are delighted to announce that the panel that Mauricio Mejia, Andres Roldan and I submitted for ISEA Manizales has been accepted for this June 2017. ( see isea http://isea2017.isea-international.org/ )

The title is:  Training Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Best Practices  and Didactics for Team Work 

An annotated critical bibliography of collaboration references will be published. WE CALL FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS CRITICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY- PLEASE SEND A LINK TO THE RESSOURCE AND A FEW SENTENCES OF WHY YOU THINK THIS IS AN  IMPORTANT REFERENCE- send to RMALINA@ALUM.MIT.EDU or post:

 

Here are the Panelists:

Art, science and anthropology experiments: inviting
other knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases
through transdisciplinary collaborations
Panelist: Alejandro Valencia-Tobón (Universidad
Autónoma de Occidente, Colombia)

The transdisciplinary RealLab method
Panelist: Stella Veciana (Leuphana University Lüneburg,
Germany)

When a school of satellites is a school of photography
Panelist: Juan José Díaz Infante, Mexico

Laboratory of ArtScience in Ecuador: Transdisciplinary
Teaching Methods
Panelist: Paz Tornero

 

Developing situated and relational design competences
in transdisciplinary studio settings
Panelist: Andrea Botero

The mutualism relation within the entrepreneurial
ecosystem
Panelist: Viviana Molina Osorio (Universidad Autónoma
de Manizales, Colombia)

A transdisciplinary approach to research-creation
(When art is part of… everything else)
Panelist: Ricardo Dal Farra (Concordia University, Canada)

Here is the full description:

Training Methods for Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Best Practices  and Didactics for Team Work
Roger Malina, G. Mauricio Mejía, Andrés F. Roldán
a University of Texas, Dallas, USA. rmalina@alum.mit.edu
b Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia. mauricio.mejiaramirez@ucaldas.edu.co
c Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia. roldaman@gmail.com
Abstract
Collaborative practices among different disciplines are growing everywhere. However, teamwork in different academic and professional cultures pose specific challenges for successful collaboration. This panel is a proposal to bring together diverse experiences about how to train people to work and discuss the best practices in transdisciplinary collaborations.

Introduction
Collaborative work appears as a need for successful transdisciplinary
efforts and communal professional activity
among individuals with different expertise. Collaboration
frames activities in a scenario of mutual benefits, where
each participant contributes with her work to personal and
group goals. Collaboration is expected to augment individuality
because participants’ peculiarities, strengths,
knowledge, and skills may articulate and negotiate to
achieve an integrated outcome, which could be more successful
and constructive.
However, individuals have limited abilities to exploit the
personal and collective benefits of collaboration. Formal or
informal training methods need to be refined and tested to
enhance transdisciplinary work. In the Manizales Mutualism
Project, we are exploring training methods for transdisciplinary
collaboration. We are looking for multiple
perspectives of training methods, but we are also interested
in inspiration from metaphors from the natural environment.
Training methods, and pedagogics, exist for team
management training and team building in other fields such
as medicine or industry; we are interested in the specifics
for transdisciplinary training on creative projects that
bridge the design, arts, and humanities with science and
engineering.
A key issue in trandisciplinary collaborations is understanding
the metaphors and terminology used in each discipline;
we seek to clarify and make visible the metaphors
and language shared in trandisciplinary practice. In nature,
some animals and plants master interspecies communal
living in some biological relationships and collaborative
work. In mutualism, for instance, individuals from different
species live together and benefit from a relationship
based on strategic alliances. There could be much to learn
from the mutualism as a metaphor in human transdisciplinary
collaboration, including training methods, while recognizing
the limits of translating from one field of application
to another.
We propose an ISEA panel where experienced transdisciplinary
collaborators present their collaboration methodologies.
A half day working group meeting would also be
held with interested participants (see workshop proposal).
An annotated critical bibliography of collaboration references
would be published as well as a report from the
ISEA panel and workshop meetings.
The following are the paper abstracts from the panelists.

Art, science and anthropology experiments: inviting
other knowledge about mosquito-borne diseases
through transdisciplinary collaborations
Panelist: Alejandro Valencia-Tobón (Universidad
Autónoma de Occidente, Colombia)
In order to investigate the effectiveness of public health
campaigns around mosquito-borne diseases, I have devised
a combination of ethnography and artistic installation to
create a series of ‘public experiments’ in which a collaborative
team –including scientists, artists and patients– create
relational art experiences using visual and sonic media
and executing performance pieces. People in these collaborations
learn to participate by attending to para-site events
in which they are gathering together as partners, subjects
and objects of the research at the same time. These events
provide means for dialogic and experimental approaches,
allowing the hybridization of ‘research outcomes’ and ‘the
research itself’. My ideas about collaborative forms of research
are aimed towards ethical and inclusive ways of
understanding people’s knowledge and understandings.
The best practices for successful collaborations are, therefore,
derived from open-ended and process-based events
that stimulate debate among the public and the intersubjective
exchange of experiences.

The transdisciplinary RealLab method
Panelist: Stella Veciana (Leuphana University Lüneburg,
Germany)
The Transdisciplinary RealLab builds students capacity
for Responsible Research and Innovation RRI (current
European Commission Research Strategy) applying integrative
transdisciplinary and artistic methods within the
research field “ecovillage”: during an excursion on site
students discover stimulating social&technical innovations
created by ecovillagers. They learn e.g. anticipating the
benefits of humus formation for soil-fertility/food-supply
or how innovative community-building/decision-taking
processes solve problems of inclusion. In a world café students
gain the capacity to create with practitioners common
responsive research questions. In their follow-up research
papers students enhance these local innovations invigorating
a community-based research agenda. The RealLab is
an exciting method to engage students into RRI from a
sciart approach as it: fosters anticipation and reflection
about problems that matter; teaches communication techniques
that encourage openness and transparency for mutual
understanding in academic-practitioners collaborations,
and equips students with responsiveness and competencies
for adaptive change by introducing students into the
complexity of future risks.

When a school of satellites is a school of photography
Panelist: Juan José Díaz Infante
ESATMX is a school of satellites founded in Mexico by
Juan Jose Diaz Infante, its intent is to be a school in which
Mexicans of many backgrounds learn to make an art satellite.
The teaching experience is based in learning to understand
the concept of a space mission. Mission defined as a
process of the formality of the word. Its basic concept is
the changing of the conversation. The conversation being
the dialectical process that a country in development has.
The root of a progress gap. The conversation is a concept
of cybernetics and we apply a lot of the teachings of Fernando
Flores. The experience of building a satellite becomes
a transdisciplinary experience that allows the student
to learn about the need team work, passion and craft.
We are redefining the STEAM paradigm from the starting
point of the arts. Today we are working in collaboration
with the main universities in Mexico with a team of over
75 people.

Laboratory of ArtScience in Ecuador: Transdisciplinary
Teaching Methods
Panelist: Paz Tornero
During my stay in Ecuador working as a professor and
researcher at the University of San Francisco de Quito I
was collaborating with the Institute of Microbiology as a
visiting artist and I had the opportunity of teaching an
ArtScience class for a semester with students from art, biology,
medicine, cinema, psychology and photography
fields. One of the keys leanings in this class is they had to
assimilate how to communicate and work together on
transdisciplinary projects. In addition, we revised artworks
and theory related to this field as well as they learnt from
researchers’ talks in different disciplines that wanted to be
part of this experience and discuss about benefits of collaboration
and cross-disciplinary studies such us: microbiologists,
environmental engineers, philosophers, curators,
and artists. Students had also to develop a group work in
collaboration with the Department of Environmental
Communication and another one made by teams of two
students, one from scientific discipline and the other one
from humanities. As a brief conclusion, I could affirm that
establish a professional relationship with the scientific academic
community was a very slow and difficult challenger,
however I finally had more empathy with most of the scientific
researchers at this institution who always helped me
by using theirs labs and materials for my personal use and
with my students.

Developing situated and relational design competences
in transdisciplinary studio settings
Panelist: Andrea Botero
With the interest in encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations,
and the fuzz around concepts such as “design
thinking” and “co-creation” the amount of multidisciplinary
students taking studio based courses in art and design
schools has increased. This poses a series of challenges to
the traditional configuration of studio based education. I
have been preoccupied by two intersecting issues. The first
one, how to support students that do not have experience
with the uncertainty and demands of studio (and project)
based ways of learning, or that do not have explicitly articulated
design expertise. The second one, what changes
need to be made to the studio format to accommodate the
inclusion of more collaborative and participatory ways of
working, that include not only experts outside the design
team (notably users, stakeholders) but also increasingly
other non-human actors?

A transdisciplinary approach to research-creation
(When art is part of… everything else)
Panelist: Ricardo Dal Farra (Concordia University, Canada)
The solution to complex problems are being explored,
increasingly, from multi and/or interdisciplinary perspectives.
However, those strategies are not enough in many
cases and therefore developing a transdisciplinary approach
becomes an essential tool. The traditional academic
structure based on rigid disciplines has proven not to work
well to face problems such as climate change or poverty,
taking here only two among many multi-dimensional challenges
we are facing. Can the experience, knowledge and
vision of an architect be taken a step beyond its own disciplinary
training? And what about a biologist, a designer or
an astrophysicist? Have artists a role on that equation, in
special when considering to focus on specific problems
that require practical solutions? Can we really and effectively
develop innovative useful ways to do research and
apply our findings with a creative approach. This presentation
will show some practical strategies used in transdisciplinary
training focusing on research-creation [involving
musicians, anthropologists, interactive designers, computer
programmers, magicians, philosophers and more] explaining
the challenges faced as well as the achievements, aiming
others could benefit from the conclusions driven from
these real experiences.

The mutualism relation within the entrepreneurial
ecosystem
Panelist: Viviana Molina Osorio (Universidad Autónoma
de Manizales, Colombia)
Manizales has made a commitment to entrepreneurship
creating the “Manizales Más” project to foster the entrepreneurship
ecosystem that allows the city to strengthen
the six different dimensions necessary to create and grow
companies in a small size city like ours. Government, academia
and companies have found a way to do co-creation
and adjust diverse standpoints to contribute to a bigger
vision, a commitment with development and cultural
change, a movement that invites to believe, create and
grow. In this adventure, every stakeholder has made an
effort to put in the table all their abilities to help entrepreneurs.
Different multidisciplinary committees were created
to propose activities, conduct workshops, boot camps and
living labs to improve products and create new businesses.
“Manizales Más” shows how through empathy, market test
and several iterations of your product you can create and
grow a company taking advantage of everything the stakeholders
have to offer.

Practices for Transdisciplinary Research Collaboration
Panelists: G. Mauricio Mejía (Universidad de Caldas, Colombia),
Roger Malina (University of Texas at Dallas,
USA), Andrés Roldán (Universidad de Caldas, Colombia)
Interdisciplinary practices are increasing in many areas
in industry, government, academia and civil society. The
benefits of collaboration have been proven in traditional
practice areas such as health, engineering, or business.
However, in wider transdisciplinary collaborations that
expands from diverse fields such as art, science, and technology,
training practices are less clear and specific difficulties
can be anticipated. In this paper, we review best
practices and didactics for teamwork collecting sources
from different fields. Then, we study how whether and
how these practices were incorporated in three interdisciplinary
research projects as case studies: (a) The UTDallas
Data Stetho Project, a collaboration between neurobiologists
and media artists to develop multimodal tools for scientific
data exploration and also , using the same tools,
perform complex network fMRI brain data and create a
new media art performance; (b) a behavioral health design
project that aims to create innovative behavior change
strategies for obesity prevention, in which health and design
researchers from Universidad de Caldas collaborate;
and (c) our own collaboration proposing organizing this
panel and a workshop.