• So, what did this [a2ru] conference really have to do with the arts? Actually, quite a lot. Even though it wasn’t explicitly a traditional conference about the fine arts, I felt like there was an underlying message that artists should always be part of the larger conversation about creativity and innovation. After all, artists have the unique trait of being communicators by training.

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On Disciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity

  • September 29, 2014
  • By a2ru      
Defining disciplinary collaboration requires an understanding of meaning when it comes to the language used to describe collaboration by type.


Dr. Aisling Kelliher, Associate professor of Design at Carnegie Mellon University, explains what “interdisciplinarity” and “transdisciplinarity” mean with respect to collaboration in a research university setting. For Kelliher, the difference between these two modes of collaboration is measured by the depth at which each distinct discipline negotiates understanding of the other’s discipline, and whether the collaboration is useful to the scope of a project or serves as a catalyst for co-solving an enigmatic problem. 

The research videos produced for a2ru’s YouTube channel are provided courtesy of ArtsEngine at the University of Michigan, and are the products of an ongoing research project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.