Design Education and Learning









Design and Interdisciplinarity: the improbable introduction of 'fundamental physics' in a design school  

Annie Gentes, Anne-Lyse Renon, Julien Bobroff

Codesign lab, Telecom Paristech, France; ENSCI-Les Ateliers, LIAS – IMM, France; Université Paris-Saclay

Keywords: design education; interdisciplinarity; expansive learning; design theory


This paper analyzes the introduction of fundamental physics in design education as a pedagogical method that brings interdisciplinarity into play. It presents the framework of three workshops that took place in a design school. For each workshop, a theme was chosen by the designers and the professor of physics: superconductivity in 2011, quantum physics in 2013 and light and optics in 2014. The authors suggest that introducing physics in a design curriculum was thought in terms of an “a fortiori” education program that would help practitioners to draw pertinent questions and responses whatever the situation. The authors suggest therefore that the curriculum had five goals that correspond to a model of design: affective (how to cope with uncertainty), reflexive learning (how to cope with processes rather than contents), cognitive (how to cope with non knowledge), economic (how to cope with the industrial society of innovation), and political (how to cope with the equality of disciplines and “indiscipline”). 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Gentes, A., Renon, A., Bobroff, J. (2016). Design and Interdisciplinarity: the improbable introduction of 'fundamental physics' in a design school. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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