Sponsored by: Texas Tech Humanities Center
How might the research and pedagogy of the academy, and especially disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, connect fruitfully with dynamic agendas in technology development, change management in business, and the challenges of a complex world of runaway crises? How might we address this question of transdisciplinary reach while cherishing the specialized expertise of orthodox disciplines? This talk will present a pragmatist case for managing creative knowledge building in research and learning. Four interconnected case studies will be described: in university education (Stanford Humanities Lab and design programs, project-based learning in Denmark); in science and technology studies (histories of design); in corporate design-based strategic planning (projects with the automotive industry over 25 years); and in critical theory developed in the archaeology of prehistoric Europe and classical antiquity. These case studies illustrate the enduring value of tried-and-tested toolkits drawn from design practice and rhetoric and applied in synthetic fields that can be called design foresight, creative pragmatics, and futures literacy (after the UNESCO initiative). This synthesis of mindset, methods, and concepts that will be familiar to many could be called an argument for a revitalized liberal arts that brings creative design skills (rhetoric) to STEM education, research and development.