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 Phillip Rollfing  

Collaborative Partnerships

Academic summit eyes collaboration
in the built environment disciplines



National leaders and scholars in the design, construction, and planning disciplines will gather in College Station Nov. 7-10, 2007, for a summit that will critically examine the emerging role of collaborative partnerships in the built environment disciplines.

The summit, “Collaborative Partnerships in the Built Environment Disciplines: Imperatives for Action,” sponsored by the Texas A&M University College of Architecture, will be held at the Hyatt Place and Hawthorne Suites in College Station, Texas.

“In recent decades, social, demographic, economic and political changes, along with the growth of scientific and technical knowledge and communication innovations, have vastly increased the scope and complexity of issues related to these fields of research and practice,” explained Forster Ndubisi, summit organizer and head of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M. “These transformations and innovations have prompted designers, planners, constructors, social scientists, and many others to join in addressing complex issues that are best examined simultaneously with knowledge from different perspectives.”

To this end, Ndubisi noted, a variety of collaborative models have emerged, including multi-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and trans-disciplinary partnerships. Each model offers a unique approach for addressing complex problems and issues through the integration of deep knowledge from diverse perspectives.

The Nov. 7-10 summit will explore how state-of-art knowledge about collaborative partnerships, including drivers, integrative models, strategies, best practices, and metrics for evaluation, can be re-interpreted, synthesized, and made more relevant to education, research, and creative scholarship within the built and natural environment disciplines.

In addition to scholars from the built environment disciplines, summit organizers are inviting academicians in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Together, summit participants will examine the following questions:

  • What are the drivers of collaborative partnerships; how and in what ways do they influence the future of education and research in the built and natural environment disciplines?
  • How can state-of-art knowledge about integrative models, strategies, and outcomes of collaborative partnerships be re-interpreted and made more relevant to education, research, and creative scholarship within these disciplines?
  • What institutional arrangements are effective in advancing collaborative partnerships in education and research in these disciplines; how, and why?
  • How can exemplary professional practice inform collaborative partnerships in education and research? What can we learn from professional practice?
  • What are the current valid and reliable metrics for evaluating collaborative partnerships in education and research?
  • Which set of priorities, actions, and best practices can facilitate and sustain effective collaborative partnerships in education, research, and creative scholarship in the built and natural environment disciplines?


The summit will feature position papers, keynote presentations from leaders in the field and focused work sessions. Several key papers will be commissioned prior to the conference and a subset of the outcomes of the summit will be submitted for peer-reviewed publication.

Details on abstract submission and summit registration are available online at:

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