“I would have never expected that a 30 min. flipchart session could be so helpful in clarifying the core aspects of a blended model for multidisciplinary integration in higher education! The UCCRN_edu [Erasmus +] project will benefit a lot from such valuable advice.”

Dr. Mattia Leone, architect and associate professor, Department of Architecture (DiARC) University of Naples Federico II, Italy. Also co-director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network - European Hub (UCCRN) and Coordinator of the Erasmus+ UCCRN-EDU project.

Are you curious for more? Would you like to get in touch? Feel free to contact our lead directly for any questions or inquiries you may have. +31 6 42 47 29 69

Image: Multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary explained, with the latter being visualised as co-creation of knowledge with non scientific knowledge cultures. Reproduced by permission of Roderick J. Lawrence. For reference see bottom of the page.

In an increasingly complex world, interdisciplinary curricula, and co-creation of knowledge around complex problems seems inevitable. However, this may be hard to achieve at your institute, where internal logic actually tends to encourage you to silo your knowledge. Or, you may find that robust disciplinary expertise is needed first, focusing more on the skills needed to collaborate with experts from other disciplines.

Our Studio partners with you, to synthesise disciplines and their respective knowledge and make sense out of it all at a practical level. Coming from a robust background in both anthropology, with its intrinsic focus on bridging silos, and solid educational design, we work towards concrete outputs that you can use for your course, training or degree.

We work lightly, agile, in between people and departments, and focus on the technical dimension (see our value system) to keep things simple and offer you concrete material at the practical level.

As you aim for co-creation of courses/degrees and collaboration across departments, faculties and beyond, we keep in mind your evidence-based (neuroscience) and pedagogical angle to curriculum design.

Key projects

“You take our ideas, visions, inspiration - and you anchor us.”

A senior manager in a zero emission flooring company, looking for a transition trajectory and -curriculum, Interface (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia)

“You [Tikvah] are able to learn/absorb the subject that I’m trying to produce, and you transform it to a methodological angle, and organise it is such a way that it directs me, and I can do things [in my course] in a more effective and efficient way”.

Tannya Pico, PhD candidate who participated in StudioBlended’s resilience course where she received advice on her course design. Her research is on Nature Based Solutions (NBS) and transdisciplinarity, Quito, Ecuador  Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam
For her most recent pubication see TRIALOG 144 - ECUADOR - After Habitat III

Related publications

Photo: IHS link to the event and livestream

What role do universities play in processes of change, such as towards co-creation of knowledge? Surely knowledge processes are dynamic. They are always changing, they must change [...] to be useful in a context. And so they are driven by practicalities: Who needs it? Who shares it? And we can think together in what direction we believe they should change, such as co-creation and co-production. 

If we zoom in - 

Within education - between departments of universities and between universities, the relationships are quite frankly very complex. First out, they are a little bit competitive, and a little bit collaborative. And often, in academia, one of the sins of academia is that we tend to be a little bit too proprietorial about our knowledge processes, in other words: the competition wins out over the collaboration. And what I mean by that, is the tendency within academia to silo it’s knowledge. And forget to - within universities - collaborate across departments, and across faculties and so on. And that is not an insignificant problem.

We have an opportunity here, and we’ve shown the ability in the past, to reach out across that divide.

Nevertheless, it’s something worth noting, and knowledge processes reflect that tension. Overall academia is typified by that prevelence of competition. 

In practice that is one thing. In principle, we talk all the time about collaboration and interdisciplinarity. That’s why understanding what interdisciplinarity is, and then implementing it - in practice, over time, is really really difficult. Because it runs agains some of the difficulties we have to work with on a practical level. 

So there is almost always something in there for us as an institute, or unit, or as academics individually if we really think about it, to place more emphasis on collaboration than we often have, and yet we are torn in the opposite direction.”

Prof Michael Walls, Professor of Development Politics and Economy, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), Director, UK.

Extract from a panel discussion celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS) Erasmus, October 26, 2023.

‘Related to the idea of 21st century skills is the idea that we should be focusing on helping our students to work in inter-disciplinary and multidisciplinary teams, not least because most of the challenges that can be solved from the perspective of a single discipline have been solved.

But multi-disciplinary work requires that those collaborating bring strong disciplinary perspectives to the challenges being faced. Climate scientists can tell us about the ways in which our climate is changing, and the likely causes, but solutions will require contributions from psychologists, agricultural specialists, civil engineers, economists, social policy experts, and so on.

It is the difference in perspectives that different disciplines bring to the challenge that makes progress possible.’

Dr. Dylan William, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education

The National Bureau of Economic Research (in the US) recently ‘showed that “double majors experience substantial protection against earnings shocks”. 

The benefit is far more dramatic with unrelated subjects.

A cynic might suggest that students choosing double majors are simply more talented, entrepreneurial — or privileged — in the first place. But the economists tested that explanation and rejected it.

But the economists tested that explanation and rejected it. Instead, they cite a concept more normally applied to financial, not human, capital — portfolio diversification. Students with two majors can jump more easily between professional spheres if the jobs in one field disappear, they argue — ie, “human capital diversification is associated with protection from labour market shocks.” Moreover, “double majors are more likely to work in jobs that require a diverse set of skills and knowledge and are less likely to work in occupations that are closely related to their majors,” they note.

Cognitive flexibility matters.’

Gilian Tett, 2024. The Financial Times, Feburary 22.

‘Interdisciplinary education is popular, but still in its infancy.’

Oudenampsen’s (PhD) dissertation research shows that students who participate in interdisciplinary higher education, learn to see their own discipline clearer, and to value other disciplines more. They become more aware of the value, principles and ideologies of their own discipline, and develop more willingness to continue their studies in it. Students also change perception: they see their own discipline as more interconnected with other disciplines and also perceive students from other disciplines differently.

Even so, despite the popularity of this educational form, the scientific base to justify it is still narrow and scattered. Oudenampsen in her dissertation advises to make interdisciplinarity part of the Basic Qualification Education (BKO in Dutch).

Often times indeed, it is argued that interdisciplinary education can teach students to respond well to complex societal problems - but in reality, there is little research that can support this claim. Oudenampsen conducted a systematic review of the empirical evidence about learning outcomes of interdisciplinary higher education.

Extract from Scienceguide, March 4, 2024 (Dutch). Find the full dissertation here (open access Radboud university The Netherlands).

Curios? Feel free to contact our independent senior advisor directly:

More design angles we use

Technical resilience
Human resilience
Evidence-based design
Financial health and resilience by (re)design
Innovative and deep pedagogy
Multi- Inter- and transdisciplinary
Designed to be green (and technological simplicity)
Nature and aspirations
Flexibilisation and personalisation
Simplicity and decluttering


Roderick J. Lawrence 2021. Creating Built Environments. New York, Routledge.

We are here especially for you as unique professional, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (architecture / urban / development / policy / land / water / climate) curriculum, so that you can offer effective and resilient education in its simplest form.
StudioBlended Foundation 2024

Prefer to have direct contact?
Feel free:
Tikvah Breimer (MSc MAEd MSc)
Independent senior advisor, teacher trainer, lead
+31 6 42 47 29 69

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StudioBlended Foundation


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We are here especially for you as unique course/training coordinator, to come alongside you and partner with you, as you work on a (architecture / urban / development / policy / land / water / climate) curriculum, so that you can offer effective and resilient education in its simplest form.

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