A Cross-Disciplinary Trailblazer: Creative Village Studio

Catherine De Lorenzo, Elizabeth Ashburn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Between 1992 and 2006 the University of New South Wales ran a cross-disciplinary and cross-faculty studio known as Creative Village. Initiated by the Arts Council of New South Wales, the model enabled community representatives to collaborate with professional artists, designers, architects and landscape architects to develop proposals for environmental and amenity improvements to small regional towns. On the ACNSW’s panel of experts were specialists from two universities. Those from UNSW’s Faculty of the Built Environment and the College of Fine Arts determined to develop a cross-faculty studio with interdisciplinary student teams operating in parallel with the professionals. When funding for the ACNSW program ceased, university staff familiar with the studio continued to develop the model when approached by community groups to assist with ideas development.
This case study reflects on some of the ways the teaching team developed skills for cross-disciplinary collaboration within the Creative Village studio. We re-examine how the studio setting fostered meaningful knowledge exchange within the multi-disciplinary teams, and look at skills they developed to communicate ideas to each other, the community, and their peers. Students were encouraged to think across concepts of community, collaboration, environmental sustainability and place as they listened to community members talk about needs and opportunities before developing integrated proposals for town discussion and implementation. This paper is a reflection on a pioneering model of cross-disciplinary teaching between art, landscape architecture, architecture and design at UNSW, and its legacy today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisual Tools for Developing Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity
EditorsSelena Griffith, Kate Carruthers, Martin Bliemel
Place of PublicationChampaign, USA
PublisherCommon Ground Research Networks
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781863351157
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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