In a multidisciplinary university like Aalto, there are several cultures of learning and teaching. While these cultures may be specific to a school, department, or even a programme, their limits are always fluid.
In fact, as Aalto continues to develop its multidisciplinary mindset, students and faculty are increasingly in touch with peers and colleagues from different backgrounds. While this certainly may bring about a few cultural crashes, the increasing disappearance of disciplinary boundaries offers exciting opportunities to learn and teach between traditions and worldviews – opportunities that may give birth to completely new, unprecedented cultures of learning and teaching in higher education.
The creation of these new educational cultures and contexts is precisely what the University-Wide Art Studies (UWAS) courses and the Design Inside initiative have been actively pursuing for the past few years.
By encouraging students and faculty to creatively explore their disciplines as well as to find new, creative ways to apply their disciplinary knowledges and skills, UWAS and Design Inside are participating in finding, supporting, and cherishing explorative inquiries into still emerging fields of knowing, doing, and making.
Simultaneously rooted in and stepping out from multifarious fields of art, design, and architecture, UWAS and Design Inside invite students and faculty from all fields to explore what could we, in Aalto, do together. Experiences from these two initiatives show that when discussing the relationship be-tween creativity and education, it’s important to explore not only what one learns or teaches, but how and when. It’s also crucial to widely share these insights among teachers.
As creativity means different things in different educational contexts, focusing the discussion merely on the content of creative education may erase the above-mentioned richness of learning and teaching always present in multidisciplinary universities. This is particularly important in these highly outcome-driven times we’re living. Creativity shouldn’t be just one additional out-come of higher education, but a continuous possibility to think and act differently, whatever one’s disciplinary background is.