Global Creative Competency: Multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural workshops as a means to strengthen work-ready skills for Honours students in creative arts design

Lisa SCHAROUN, Fanke PENG, Bethaney TURNER

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


Honours is an intensive year that requires students to develop advanced disciplinary knowledge, high-level research skills and demonstrate these competencies through completion of an independent research project (Manathunga et al., 2012). It is often seen as a very discipline specific pathway to further academic studies. Through providing multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural learning experiences however, the skills gained in an Honours program can be applied to direct work-ready skills, thus offering alternative career opportunities beyond the traditional academic pathway. In our Creative Honours program at the University of Canberra, we have a focus on enhancing Cultural Intelligence (CQ). Cultural Intelligence can be defined as an individual’s ability to function in various cultural contexts, and comprises a set of capabilities that include metacognition, cognition, motivation and behaviour (Wood and St. Peters 2013, 561). Strong CQ skills are seen as an asset in many fields but particularly in the arts where career paths do not always have a strictly defined skill set and often rely on graduates to be flexible and adaptable to many varied work situations (Haukka 2011). To foster and enhance employability skill sets such as CQ, we have set up a multi-disciplinary study tour to China in which Australian students from varied disciplines such as Creative Writing, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Media Arts, and Cultural Heritage collaborate in a series of workshops with Chinese students from a similar range of disciplines. Through an analysis of one of the workshops presented during this tour, the paper aims to show how multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural experiences can foster work-ready graduates and can therefore be a key part of an Honours program in creative arts and design disciplines.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings, Australian Council of University Design and Art Schools Conference
EditorsCharles Robb, Courtney Pedersen, Rachael Haynes
Place of PublicationBrisbane
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference 2016: Adaptation ACUADS 2016 - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 29 Sept 201630 Sept 2016


ConferenceAustralian Council of University Art and Design Schools Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleACUADS 2016
OtherArt and design schools across Australia navigate a range of cultural and economic forces. The pedagogical and research agendas of the University environment, along with concomitant financial and administrative constraints, create one set of pressures. External industry structures and commercial aims create provide another. As art and design schools adapt to, and define themselves against, these environmental conditions, a pressure that often runs against the studio’s spirit of enquiry and value as a pedagogical space may be produced. In the context of these complex forces, what is the morphology of the contemporary art and design school?

The 2016 ACUADS Conference considered adaptation of various qualities and extents, as entities, processes and approaches that are conditional, grafted, contoured, nested or composite. Papers were invited from academics, art teachers and postgraduate students on topics relating to adaptation, interconnection, hybridity, survival, symbiosis and habitat as they affect the practice and pedagogy of contemporary art and design. Papers and roundtable proposals addressed topics including, but not limited to:

Survival practices: considering art, design and the anthropocene
Arranged marriages: amalgamations and mergers
Praxical models: connecting theory, practice and exegesis
Critical studio models: the contemporary art market and the academy
Methodologies: hybrid processes in the studio, lab and workshop
Disciplined and undisciplined approaches: connecting practices, fields, methodologies and audiences
Common spaces: teaching and practice
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