transdisciplinary

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does not mean that multiple disciplines sit together at the table, each representing it’s own discipline one after the other.

It means that all work together, resulting in a single discipline that simply does not belong at the table; it is a new discipline. It is neither one of the other disciplines nor is it none of them. This discipline emerges in the moment of collaboration and from each particular constellation.

Practically speaking, this is how it happens

when multiple disciplines restrict themselves to their own specialty, then every other word becomes a ‘but’, which creates separation. When, however, all sit together at the table and work as a new discipline, then we are likely to hear ‘and’, which creates connection.

Even more practically

Transdisciplinary practices begin within the process of all the involved disciplines.

Basic rule

the more that has already been achieved when the disciplines come together, the less they are actually working in a transdisciplinary way. And then every discipline that comes to the table after the others is an unwanted addition, like an extra dab of paint on an already finished painting.

And if an outcome has already been reached, then it should at least change fundamentally through transdisciplinarity.

The ideal

All involved must find a new place in which to debate and reflect. In this place, all should be equally sure and unsure, equally good and bad. The insights from this place must then be brought back to the activity area of one’s respective discipline. Work carries on again within the discipline, one meets again in a transdisciplinary way and looks once again together from this ‘transdisciplinary place’ into one’s own specific field and so on.

The benefit

Every discipline and every expert gets a light shed on his or her black box, a box which blinded him or her with expertise to such a degree that the theory became more important than ‘the patient’.