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Towards Interdisciplinary Collaboration? Boundary work among architects and social scientists

With the growing focus on cities being intrinsic to societal development, interdisciplinary collaboration is increasingly encouraged in tackling urban challenges and producing urban form and architecture. Through in-depth interviews with Norwegian architects and social scientists working in collaboration to solve such challenges, this article investigates how they see their own collaborative efforts, and how they define interdisciplinary work. Far from being straightforward, interdisciplinary collaboration creates a number of complications. It is scarcely defined, resulting in varying processes and outputs. It is sometimes used as a dubious strategic label in projects, while being resisted by architects and social scientists who seek to collaborate while protecting their own fields. In response, this article discusses different experiences of what interdisciplinary work is as well as its setbacks and possibilities for architects and social scientists who carry out such boundary work. Based on the interviews, we analyse the underlying problems hindering interdisciplinary collaboration, while looking into catalysts that encourage collaborative efforts and interdisciplinary outcomes.

Ese, A.Ese, J. 2022. 'Towards Interdisciplinary Collaboration? Boundary work among architects and social scientists'. Nordic Journal of Urban Studies. 2(2). 108–123. Available: https://doi.org/10.18261/njus.2.2.2