University Of Tasmania

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Crafting connected knowledge: collaborative and problem-based pedagogy for the studio craft and design school

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 15:29 authored by Rohan NicolRohan Nicol, Niklavs RubenisNiklavs Rubenis

Complex problems and opportunities increasingly evade resolution or fulfillment through the approach of a single discipline. Problem-based and collaborative learning (C&PBL), while not new, recognises the value and limits of disciplinary based knowledge and prepares students to engage with significant and complex issues.

Studio based craft and design (C&D) education programs have been slow and sometimes resistant to C&PBL. Motivated perhaps to safeguard craft knowledge by roping off the discipline from the interference of 'corrupted' practices. This has often contributed to an impression of a discipline out of touch and perhaps out of time.

This paper examines a new course 'Multiples and Production: The Unique Offering' (M&P), a key element of recent refinements to C&D courses and programs at the Australian National University, School of Art (ANU SoA). M&P uses the domestic table as a location and setting for the course and introduces students to a field spanning bespoke to industrial production, and asks one simple and complex question: 'Why make anything for a world already filled with stuff? This course operates outside the usual disciplinary domains of C&D by interrogating the way we produce, consume and understand domestic objects.

We argue that C&PBL can connect C&D pedagogy to some of the most salient issues of our time and that this approach provides C&D students with strategies and skills to conduct an agile practice in a rapidly changing and complex world.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 2015 Australia Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference


S Biggs






School of Creative Arts and Media


Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Design; Higher education; Pedagogy