A new collaborative space for students undertaking UTS's landmark Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII) will dissolve the traditional roles of teacher, learner and industry partner according to the Dean of the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation, Professor Louise McWhinnie.
Professor McWhinnie said the BCII Space, opened last week by UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs, would be "a place where transdisciplinarity thrives" – the engine room for final-year students to work in multi-disciplinary teams to tackle complex challenges and pursue opportunities for innovation.
"A very exciting learning model that will be implemented this year is the establishment of a 'transdisciplinary innovation community'," said Senior BCII Lecturer Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer.
"This will be a community made up of fourth-year students from 18 different disciplines, all the industry partners and the BCII teaching staff."
"Creating a community where everyone is invited to contribute and participate means letting go of traditional models where academics teach, students learn and industry partners are the clients," said Professor McWhinnie.
"Everyone learns, everyone contributes, everyone benefits from work that is innovative, exciting and unexpected."
Dr Bijl-Brouwer said the students will each work on one project for an industry partner, as well as a self-initiated project.
"The individual project may have a research character, a systems change character, or an entrepreneurial character, but it needs to contribute to an understanding of how transdisciplinary collaboration can benefit societies and economies," she said.
"Having a dedicated space is incredibly important for the BCII students, who up until now have been working in two-week intensive summer schools and winter schools at various locations around UTS.
"Ideas emerge and grow in interactions between people and working in the same space promotes more of these interactions," Dr Bijl-Brouwer said.
The BCII is a unique combined degree, offered in tandem with core degrees across all UTS faculties. It encompasses high-level critical and creative thinking, invention, complexity, innovation, future scenario building and entrepreneurship; capabilities that are increasingly valued in a rapidly changing workplace.