What is Interdisciplinary Design

Even though architects and engineers both declare that they are designers, how they define design and the ways they use to create a new thing are really vary widely. If those two groups are working together, they will create the most memorable and impressive buildings, however. This is what makes interdisciplinary design attractive. Today, interdisciplinary design is becoming more and more important in complex, multi-faceted and globally driven world. Now, let us talking about what interdisciplinary design is.

Firstly, one of the definitions of interdisciplinary is working across disciplines. When working with a big project, you will be immersed in both quantitative and qualitative market research to explore design ideas and to better understand the impact of design on people and the environment. You will learn to identify relevant trends and build future scenarios in search of innovative opportunities. That is why those big projects are team-based and competitively structured.  The design problems are complex requiring an interdisciplinary team to complete rather than the isolated work of individual designers.

Another definition is working in an interdisciplinary process. That is to say, when working with one project process; you would use different skills to deal with problems.  Steven Cox, a founding principal and creative director of Vancouver-based Cause + Affect Strategy and Design, said that the most rewarding thing is the project which needs work on across a wide scope of media. When he interact with a brand, the only way he can guarantee a holistic brand experience for his clients is to do it all himself. Fortunately, Cox has architectural background and he is known as much knowledge for branding and digital work. (Clark, 2011). On the other hand, as an interdisciplinary course of science and technology and culture art, industrial design has multiple perspectives, multiple methods and the characteristics of strong practicality in dealing with problems. Today, with the development of modernization and globalization, industrial design will become the important base of human liberation and development, also the power of promoting economic development and social progress. Like Charles Eames and Ray Eames, at their time, they are one of the most famous industrial designers. They design almost everything about life such as the Lounge Chair, Ottoman, House of Cards and Case Study House. Their design works go across multiple disciplines: furniture, psychology, architecture and so on. They also made a process of working with a product. That’s the most important contribution to an interdisciplinary works.

Make a general survey of the design history, after the World War II, designers who from European, America and Japan are mostly working in an interdisciplinary way. No one can be a pure designer who just works with one field. Market needs designers who have multidisciplinary skills and can work smooth with other field designers because clients need more. So in these days, this topic of the great opportunity in interdisciplinary design is talked by people everywhere.

Interdisciplinary design is the future design, which can develop the capability of comprehensive knowledge, needs to go beyond the original major boundary.






Clark, N. (2011, Mar. – Apr.). Wearing Many Hats. Design Edge12, 11.

Harvard Graduate School of Design – Homepage. (n.d.). Harvard Graduate School of Design – Homepage. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.gsd.harvard.edu/#/projects/interdisciplinary-design-new-lessons-from-architecture-and.html

Interdisciplinary Design. (n.d.).Interdisciplinary Design. Retrieved November 12, 2013, from http://www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/academics/graduate-programs-mfa/interdisciplinary-design








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