Visualisation for the upcoming Rare Earth project in Shanghai.
What happens when students in Sydney are immersed in a multidisciplinary collaborative process with their Chinese counterparts to address urban issues in downtown Shanghai?
This was the key question posed in response to the theme 'Old and Young' at the 2010 Better City Better Life Cumulus Conference in Shanghai. COFA Online Undergraduate Coordinator Ian McArthur presented at the conference, held in conjunction with the Shanghai World Expo at a number of venues around the city.
Ian’s research platform, The Collabor8 Project (C8) is an ongoing series of case studies challenging art and design students in China and Australia to collaborate. In the most recent of the collaborative projects sixty art, design, and architecture students, practitioners and academics from The College of Fine Arts (COFA) and Donghua University (DHU) were challenged to interact online in a process culminating in an intensive two-week studio at DHU.
The paper ‘Creating culturally adaptive pedagogy’ presented case studies from 2009’s PorosityC8 e-SCAPE Studio highlighting profound transformations made real through blended cross-cultural studio collaboration. In it Ian argues that globalised economic and urban territories linked by network technologies and reconfigured geopolitical relationships impel art and design educationalists to develop innovative pedagogies relevant to the emergent needs of students, the world community, and as yet unforeseen industries.
The cross-cultural multidisciplinary collaboration (CCMC) within C8 is founded on approaches to learning that emphasise pedagogy over use of technology for its own sake. This ethos has inspired all C8 related projects to date. Using integrated, adaptive processes, the teaching and learning model presented provokes students to share cultural identity and methods of practice to find the common ground shared by young and old cultures as exemplified by Australia and China.
This research has led Ian to work on developing a new C8 related project called ‘Rare Earth’. Watch this space for updates!
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