Reflective Blog 6

This week’s focus was looking at creativity and innovation in practice, specifically when it came to creativity at the interface of two disciplines.

Cross-disciplinary collaborations are said to have become increasingly important as they are seen as key if we are to find solutions to pressing, global-scale societal challenges. Having individuals from two different disciplines work on the same problem, innovative ideas can be created by each discipline being able to think in specific ways another discipline can’t.

I decided to take a look at cross-disciplinary collaborations between the two fields in which I am studying being photography and tourism and events.

“Tourism is currently one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry” (Grunwell et al., 2008). Today it seems that we can’t quite believe that we’ve visited a place unless it has been visually recorded. Photography is a medium in which allows us to visually capture images of places or things we want to remember. Through photographic technology the problem of not being able to capture the memory of a place you have seen has been solved. If the idea of travel photography wasn’t innovated, tourism companies and individuals themselves would not be able to capture the amazing images the world has to offer, and wouldn’t be able to advertise or show off the destinations to other individuals.

In looking at how both my disciplines were innovative to create a form of photography that allowed for a greater marketing strategy of destinations, it made me wonder about all the other innovations that are yet to be discovered. Today there are so many different disciplines in which people work and develop a passion for. In having so many disciplines today that still have never worked with another, it leaves room for thought that there are so many creative and innovative ideas out there yet to be discovered.

In learning and thinking about cross-disciplinary collaborations, I feel it is important to mention the 10 simple rules for cross-disciplinary collaborations.

In successfully maintaining cross-disciplinary collaborations, the rewards can be quite high. Collaborating with others from a different discipline can be quite difficult; therefore the following rules make it easier for a successful collaboration;

  • Rule 1: Enjoy Entering a Completely New Field
  • Rule 2: Go to the Wet Lab (try to experience what it is like working in the other field)
  • Rule 3: Learn the language (terminology, jargon) of the other field
  • Rule 4: Different Fields Move at Different Speeds: Do not Become Impatient
  • Rule 5: Different Fields Have Different Reward Models: Know What You Can Expect
  • Rule 6: What Different Fields Mean by “Data”
  • Rule 7: Assess the Advantages and Disadvantages of Service Work
  • Rule 8: Create and Manage Structural Bonds
  • Rule 9: Recognise When Things Are Not Working Well
  • Rule 10: Be Synergistic

In conclusion, cross-disciplinary collaborations are key if we are to find solutions in pressing, global-scale societal challenges. These collaborations allow for individuals from two different disciplines to work on the same problem, so that innovative ideas can be created by disciplines thinking in other ways to each other. Collaborating with others from a different discipline can be quite difficult, however the benefits in doing so are definitely worth it.

Thanks for reading,

Emily 🙂



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