Skip to main content

Transdisciplinary research

Why transdisciplinary research?

We believe that transdisciplinarity is about imagining possible futures together. 

We believe that ongoing planetary crises cannot be addressed, let alone solved, by individual, isolated approaches. We believe that no future can be imagined without collaboration, sharing, and humble curiosity. Transdisciplinarity enables us to frame present issues differently by asking new questions rather than focusing exclusively on problem-solving.

To imagine and build different futures we use uncertainty as a material to work with.

Want to know more?

Becoming Hybrid

Becoming Hybrid charts our collaboration with Tokyo Tech, offers an overview of our methods and projects, and reflection on what transdisciplinarity means for us (NB. Text in both English and Japanese).

Download our Becoming Hybrid report [PDF 6.8mb]

Stacking Complexities: Reframing Uncertainty through Hybrid Literacies

Stacking Complexities asks: How do we work together - imaginatively, practically, conceptually, affectively - in ways that embrace uncertainty and foster both learning and unlearning? Drawing insights from STADHI, it proposes a constellation of ideas (Divergence, Ecology, Pluriverse, Symbiosios) to inform a transdisciplinary mindset and scaffold the development of hybrid literacies.

Read Dr. Marenko's article 'Stacking Complexities' (2021). Design and Culture 13,2)

People working together with computer and materials

What is hacking?

Hacking is a way of making knowledge that emerges from the experimental and open-ended interaction of two or more different disciplines. Using strategies such as material experimentation and speculation by design - and a good dose of curiosity - hacking is a form of practical and conceptual inquiry that can prompt interesting, valuable and novel questions.

We are interested in hacking across science and technology and art and design, for instance when art and design practitioners engage with the scientific and technological research presented by scientists, and articulate the cultural, ethical and philosophical dimensions through practical interventions.

We see hacking as crucial to transdisciplinary work. Driven by an exploratory and playful ethos with the purpose to enrich, amplify, modify (and also contest) existent bodies of knowledge, hacking creates boundary-crossing opportunities and challenges across specialist know-how, settings, procedures and protocols, spanning both fiction and reality.

Hacking operates in liminal zones where science and technology approaches, methods, and conceptual frameworks encounter art and design approaches, methods, and conceptual frameworks. We use hacking to facilitate the encounter of different disciplines, and to ask new questions, open our eyes to new ways of seeing things and find unexpected lines of inquiry.

Becoming Hybrid Workshop, 2019

Why hybrid?

The notion of the hybrid illustrates the coming together of different components to create something else, something new, something that did not exist prior to their encounter.

The hybrid celebrates what each component has to offer, and the epistemological challenge of not fully knowing what the outcome of their encounter might be. Working in hybrid spaces allows us to value uncertainty and productive divergence as part of the knowledge-making process.

The hybrid evokes creative mixing, the potential of contamination, the blurring of boundaries.

We use hybrid as a critical lens to operate in the boundary space between disciplines, across practices, defying taxonomies and labels, and resisting the reduction of imagination, for instance as way to grasp how changes instigated by technology have continuously redesigned what it means to be human in relation to, and often in opposition to, machines.