Comparative expert practice

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This workshop facilitation method was originally developed on the Across Design project. It is a qualitative research method oriented toward capturing and comparing the personal experiences of expert practitioners, working specifically within interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary contexts, and with a focus on engaged professional practice such as professional design.

The method recruits expert witnesses who have been identified by peer recognition as leaders in a community of practice. Small groups of experts from contrasting disciplinary backgrounds present case studies to each other in a one-day workshop, in the presence of academic discussants.

The method, together with its theoretical development from the phenomenology of religion, is described in detail in the following paper:

Blackwell, A.F., Eckert, C.M., Bucciarelli, L.L. and Earl, C.F. (2009). Witnesses to design: A phenomenology of comparative design. Design Issues 25(1), 36-47.

The method was at the core of the Interdisciplinarity and Innovation project, which used it to develop an account of interdisciplinary innovation as understood by reflection on the professional careers of those recognised as leading interdisciplinary innovators.

See also the Blackwell-Leach Method for workshop facilitation.

Crucible Theme: Interdisciplinary collaboration