'Collaborative drawing as a tool for learning in Craft and Medicine'

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


    Collaborative drawing across the disciplines: Craft and Medicine

    What is the potential for using experimental, collaborative drawing as a tool for learning across disciplines? In early 2012, using a qualitative, naturalistic approach, the team carried out a research project into a drawing module run at the University of Brighton for a mixed disciplinary group comprising 3rd year Medical students and 3rd year Craft students. This paper will give a brief overview of the project and its findings. It will consider the potential educational value of drawing across the arts-science boundary, focussing on the emergent salient learning benefits for Medical students. It will note some of the challenges of pedagogical drawing research and conclude with questions for further investigation.

    In doing this, the paper will focus on:

    What conditions and approaches enable collaborative, experimental drawing to be carried out with higher education students from different disciplines? The use of the human form as the subject of drawing and a thematic focus of enquiry will be discussed, along with the importance of the social and discursive formation of the learning group.

    The paper will explore drawing as an experimental approach and attitude, tentatively considering its relationship to knowledge and the value of this for Medical Education in particular. We observed that types of subject, professional and individual knowledge appeared to be exposed and challenged during the course. Students identified what they experienced as new approaches to knowledge-discovery through the act of drawing, particularly through the process of critical and creative ‘looking’. The sessions developed, for example: students’ ability to critique the notion of ‘accuracy’ and investigate and express knowledge and experience through drawing, and students developed an understanding of the significance and potential uses of sense-based forms of knowledge through haptic drawing.

    The paper will note some of the constraints and pressures involved in the development of this module and the research project that investigated it. Interdisciplinary course offerings can be difficult to fund, justify and organise within HE institutional frameworks and research into this type of learning and teaching can provoke questions about status and methodology. The extremely high level of engagement from students and the nature of the findings so far suggest that this type of provision offers important educational and pre-professional benefits.
    Period11 Sept 2012
    Event titleThinking through Drawing 2012: Drawing in STEAM
    Event typeConference
    LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
    Degree of RecognitionInternational


    • Drawing
    • Learning
    • Craft
    • Medicine