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Frequently Asked Questions

How did Stir start?

The Stir Symposium started as this crazy idea by some graduate students in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University. We all seemed to think we're doing a lot of work with other disciplines… but it's hard to learn/talk about how to work together. So, why not make a conference about collaboration? So, we collaborated… and thus began Stir.

What will I come away with at the end of the weekend?

The weekend is really about the participants. We want people to come away talking about the different ways other disciplines look at topics. We want participants to be inspired to look outside their own disciplines and think creatively about solving problems. As a participant, you will be gathering information throughout the weekend, creating your own opinions, and then working together with other disciplines

Who should really attend? Does this really fit with what I’m doing?

Faculty, graduate students, professionals… anyone doing research in big issues that effect the “good” of society. Or anyone interested in collaborating across disciplines. Our topics are broad for a reason – we must all feel connected to them in some way, so that we can have this common ground to discuss and interact. If things like this make you passionate and excited, you should join us!
Plus, it’s going to be really fun. And, there will be snacks!

What’s going on Friday night?

We will have a reception at the Wexner Center for the Arts starting at 6pm. This partnership with the Wexner Center is really great because it is a world‑renowned art center and they happen to have some really interesting exhibits going on at the same time as the Symposium.

We will also be listening to several Pecha Kucha presentations by the Provocateurs (our Frame sessions), and even more discussion afterwards.

What’s happening on Saturday?

Collect sessions take place on Saturday morning. Consultants will discuss the various topics in round‑table sessions at the Ohio Union. These will provide background information for the afternoon workshops.

Kick off the afternoon with a presentation on transdisciplinary methods by Dr. Liz Sanders. Stir it up with each other during afternoon workshops to explore the future of our topics. The day will conclude with cocktails, music, and discussion at a reception hosted by the Department of Design.

What's going on Sunday morning?

Back at the Ohio Union on Sunday, reflect on how working with these other disciplines has helped frame your view - and discuss how these ideas could be applied to other projects. During these Share presentations, each workshop will discuss the outcome of their afternoon. Take these ideas back to help facilitate collaboration within your own projects.

Where do I stay while I’m in town?

We would really recommend the Blackwell, since it’s on campus and within walking distance to all of the events. Hotels on Olentangy River Road, at the Grandview Yard, and downtown are also good options. Find additional information at

This sounds really broad… how can I apply this to what I’m doing?

Our intention is that the topics are broad, so that we can bring a number of disciplines together and they can see their own relationship to the topic. Essentially, it becomes then more about working together and getting to know people from other disciplines -- rather than just a conference on Eating or Learning specifically.

What is transdisciplinarity? Is that actually how it’s spelled?

Yes, even though word processors don't like it, it’s spelled transdisciplinarity. To define it, we'll have to send you to a third party: Wikipedia. Believe it or not, this is one of the most concise definitions:

Transdisciplinarity connotes a research strategy that crosses many disciplinary boundaries to create a holistic approach. It applies to research efforts focused on problems that cross the boundaries of two or more disciplines, such as research on effective information systems for biomedical research (see bioinformatics), and can refer to concepts or methods that were originally developed by one discipline, but are now used by several others, such as ethnography, a field research method originally developed in anthropology but now widely used by other disciplines.

What is the difference between a Provocateur and Consultant?

They have slightly different ways of presenting their information.

What is a Visualizer?

Visualizers will be documenting the processes that go on during the workshops to be published along with the papers from Provocateurs and Consultants in the symposium proceedings.



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