Innovation requires the ability to explore and synthesize diverse areas of expertise, to bridge cultural divides, and to familiarize contributors with contexts beyond the scope of common experience. This paper describes scenario learning employed in undergraduate student research at the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning [DAAP] at the University of Cincinnati, and its application to the development of design for a prototypical, expeditionary, marine research vessel. This paper also presents the implications of scenario learning for establishing student empathy and understanding of complex opportunities that arise in collaborative learning environments.
The relationships among the vessel’s Paris-based founders and multiple colleges at the University of Cincinnati are indicative of an increased complexity in real world problems that are explored in undergraduate design education at DAAP. The project has evolved into a successful international, multidisciplinary collaboration unifying contributions from the fields of design, engineering, and medicine. It has bridged languages and connected cultures. The challenge of design for extreme environments, in which first-hand experiential knowledge is not possible for the student, was central to the project. The role of scenario learning was critical to the mutual success of all parties in overcoming experiential, disciplinary, and political boundaries.
New frontiers inherently involve many unfamiliar contexts where traditional experiential knowledge may not be applicable. This case showcases a model for learning that extends the capabilities of students beyond the assimilation of existing knowledge, enabling them to generate new meaningful insights that inform innovative solutions. Incorporating scenario learning into design curricula has broader educational development implications, providing students with a transferable process that can be utilized in diverse disciplines. The issues embedded within this study are indicative of new trajectories in university education that respond to the matrix of challenges facing students in our global community.
|Keywords:||Scenario Learning, Interdisciplinary Programs, Multidisciplinary Teams, Design Education|
Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Interior Design, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Graduate Assistant, School of Planning, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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