Drawing parallels in art science for collaborative learning: A case study

Karen Westland (Lead / Corresponding author), Keith Wilcox (Supervisor), Sandra Wilson (Supervisor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research paper explores drawing as a tool to facilitate interdisciplinary practice. Outlined is the personal experience of PhD researcher [name removed] in their physics/craft research project, combined with thoughts and opinions from collaborators gathered through group discursive interviews. Interdisciplinary projects face interpersonal and conceptually ambiguous challenges which can be addressed through adopting drawing techniques for educational purposes. Findings highlight that drawing can assist across a breadth of applications as a learning tool for everyone, regardless of drawing ability, to improve the functionality of collaborative projects. Specifically, drawing combined with other communication techniques develops a performative communicative approach that enriches interaction and empathy between participants. However, challenges exist around inclusion between individuals from different disciplines when adopting drawing as an integrated practice. Overcoming deep-seated beliefs and perceptions of what drawing is facilitates efficient problem-solving in a research context. Examples made in this report signify the benefits of drawing without concern for the quality of drawn renders when the purpose is to share ideas and develop processes. The paper advocates that drawing practice has the potential to build empathy and develop stronger interpersonal relationships between those from different disciplines where verbal barriers exist - a key asset to interdisciplinary practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages10
JournalThe STEAM Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2020


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