Please note: Some of the content on this page was published prior to the launch of Creative Australia and references the Australia Council. Read more.

Creativity at Work: Interdisciplinary learning in industry and community settings

Aug 25, 2021


Creative practitioners are increasingly working and applying creative skills in non-creative sectors. Creativity is also key to the kinds of interdisciplinary approaches that will be required for future work environments. Together, these trends point to potential alternative career pathways for creative practitioners, and the need to prepare creative graduates for future interdisciplinary work.

Creativity at Work presents the findings of a joint research project by the Australia Council and QUT’s Faculty of Creative Industries that investigated the role and value of interdisciplinary work integrated learning for creative industries students. The research focussed on projects run within the QUT School of Creative Practice capstone study program, Situated Creative Practice, as delivered across its pilot phase.

Situated Creative Practice places final year Bachelor of Fine Arts students in interdisciplinary work contexts, teaching them to apply their creative skills across different professional situations and to work collaboratively with people from diverse areas of expertise.

By studying this program, Creativity at Work provides timely insights into how we can better prepare our future creative professionals to be key contributors to 21st century industries and workplaces.

Key findings

  • The Situated Creative Practice pilot developed meaningful partnerships between university and industry, producing strong external advocates for the program.
  • While the development of deep art form knowledge and creative skills remains critical, interdisciplinary work integrated learning provides benefits for both students and industry partners.
  • Students of Situated Creative Practice developed valuable networking and collaboration skills. Industry partners benefitted from the creative skills and fresh ideas brought by students to the workplace.
  • There is a need to better communicate the value of interdisciplinary learning for students of creative industries, both to staff and students.
  • Students and staff with recent experience in the creative sector were more likely to value and advocate for the program.This points the relevance of the program to contemporary industry contexts.

Creativity at Work adds to the Australia Council’s growing body of research on the value and role of creativity in education and a diverse range of other industries, and the importance of creative skills for the future of work.

‘The change was really to say we think all students doing our degrees need to have this experience, because that’s where the future of the creative field lies – and the skills for the future would come out of that.’ – Staff member

‘It actually helps our creativity and helps us to be a much more innovative office – and to really test ideas, and get everybody in the office thinking very differently about our design. I think that’s the biggest most strategic sort of benefit to the office.’ – Industry partner