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Transdisciplinary Teams: Researcher, artist and designer assemble!

Format: Workshops, RSD10, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Linda Meijer-Wassenaar, Lizet van Tilburg, Diny van Est and Marjorie Bakker

Working with designers, researchers and artists raised certain tensions in our already complex audit environment. These differences are already mentioned in the literature. (C. Crouch & J. Pearce, 2013)

How can we embrace these tensions and turn them into strengths?

This workshop is designed to raise awareness and deepen insights on the tensions between what researchers want, what artists want and what designers want in order to unite forces to face problems and stimulate collaboration in transdisciplinary teams.

Working in transdisciplinary teams

In this workshop, we elaborate on our experiences with tensions between researchers and designers during a design sprint on energy transition – in and out of our comfort zone. (see below)

We explain the tensions using our triangle of value conflicts: a researcher wants to understand problems, a designer wants to solve problems and an artist wants to make problems (disruptive or aware).

In the first exercise, participants consider where they are. The goal of the first practice gives us insights into the different actors and all the space in between. In the second exercise, participants experience by themselves what it means to think and act from a specific worldview (researcher, artist or designer). Furthermore, we gather ideas in order to bridge possible differences.

Workshop format

120 minutes | maximum 36 participants

Workshop Agenda: Transdisciplinary Teams

Exercise 1: where are you on the triangle? (online/hybrid in Miro on location standing in the room ór post-its on a flap). On a list (output to share)

  1. Make a choice, you can pick only one role. Why did you choose this role? Which values fit for you standing here and which does not fit?
  2. Make a new choice, you can stand anywhere on the triangle: why is this the best spot for you?

Exercise 2: work together without making too many sacrifices concerning your role that is described on the card. The second output is a list of possible solutions.

  1. Make trio’s for role play: a designer, an artist and a researcher have to work together on a project. Participants receive a role (researcher/designer/artist) on a card and an exercise.
  2. Do the exercise together. Which differences do you notice? Which tensions arise? How can you bridge possible differences? What are the possible solutions for a fruitful collaboration? (idea generation)

End question/discussion: What do you take home from this workshop?

Design sprint on energy transistion


C. Crouch and J. Pearce (2013). Doing Research in Design.
Keywords: transdisciplinary collaboration, systemic design, pain points




Citation Data

Author(s): Linda Meijer-Wassenaar, Diny van Est, Lizet van Tilburg and Marjorie Bakker
Title: Transdisciplinary Teams: Researcher, artist and designer assemble!
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
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First published: 10 September 2021
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