INU Seed Money Funding for interdisciplinary collaboration;  Building Cultural Competencies: Scaling Collaborative Design Challenges for a more just and sustainable world

INU is delighted to announce allocation of Seed Money Funding of £2,500 (Phase 1 – New Projects) for a collaborative project on “Building Cultural Competencies: Scaling Collaborative Design Challenges for a more just and sustainable world” submitted by colleagues at James Madison University (USA), Malmö University (Sweden) and European University Viadrina (Germany).

In 2022, James Madison University pioneered a unique educational collaboration by partnering with Malmö University’s K3 design students, and faculty and students from the European University Viadrina. Central to this collaboration was a Biomimicry-driven design challenge, fostering a space for students from varied backgrounds to collaboratively innovate, critique, and advance their projects.

This Seed Money Funding will support faculty from participating institutions to continue this work, in service of scaling and expanding on the initial strategy (COIL), by funding workshops held in Frankfurt and Malmö to engage key faculty and collaborators. It is the goal of the proposal to establish frameworks to expand the work as well as identify courses, course modules and share strategies for future collaborative work.  The collaboration acknowledges that many global challenges require interdisciplinary solutions and that expertise from diverse fields, such as design and engineering, is essential for addressing complex issues.

This project directly aligns with INU’s mission and vision to promote “globally engaged and socially responsible change agents” by leveraging three INU partners in service of a sustainability-focused project.

Project lead, Daniel Gaffner, Head of Program for Graphic Design in the School of Arts and Communication at Malmö  University commented We are very grateful for the INU Seed Money which we are planning to use for on-site workshops in both Malmö, Sweden and in Frankfurt Oder, Germany.  Initially we will be planning future projects, utilizing/exploring the facilities of our three universities – both physical facilities and online resources. It is also our wish to sketch out a second phase where we expand this interdisciplinary co-operation to include other INU partners.”

In reviewing the application, INU Council members commented “This program collaborates among three institutions using COIL framework to connect students and faculty/staff.  This will enhance the internationalization at home as well as faculty/staff development.” And another commented “An interesting project design, in line with INU values, trilateral – well done!”

To find out more about Seed Money Funding, please visit the webpage: