MAT_er.LAB, the Interdisciplinary Playground Where Science Means Personal Growth
Received Date: April 14, 2020; Published Date: May 05, 2020
The fashion industry reacts to the current coronavirus pandemic highlighting a failing system lacking humanity. Large corporations are refusing to pay for orders that they have placed leaving the most vulnerable within the production chain paying the price. This raises the urgent question; how and when will the industry step up and change for the better? Therefore, it needs to be asked in which areas Higher Education can tackle the existing lack of responsibility and how a collaborative and social mind-set can be ignited. How can an environment where students aim to work collectively and interdisciplinary be created? MAT_er.LAB, an initiative developed by academics and technicians from the Faculty of Art, Design and Media at Birmingham City University (BCU), offers an experimental environment for students of all year groups and all courses to cross pollinate their overall learning outcome through engagement with the unknown. Detached from the curriculum, the laboratory creates a playful approach to investigate, challenge and explore whilst social skills and circular mind-sets are enhanced. Brought back into regular modules these attributes help to shape a new generation of creatives valuing a more inclusive and sharing way of working.
Keywords: Interdisciplinary Learning; Circular economy; Design thinking; Biodesign