The Collaborative Tribe

Master's Thesis


This thesis is an exploration of interdisciplinary collaboration within the field of industrial design. The projects discussed combine field and scholarly research with a focus on uniting people in order to initiate enterprise as a system of meeting objectives and producing insights and ideas for the benefit of the greater good. First-hand immersion into the realm of each project yielded the observations and understandings necessary to conceive the trajectory and objectives of my design practice.

The collaborative approach involved with my work is a common thread that can be noted in each of projects in graduate school. These projects will be cited and explained in this paper to help illustrate the reasoning behind my decision to coordinate inter-disciplinary efforts in my work.

It is my belief that designers must be willing to step into the unknown in order to create meaningful solutions, discover future possibilities, and break from the status quo. This includes immersing oneself in unfamiliar territories, striving to understand and become fluent in as many disciplines as possible, collaborating with those who can provide the expertise in other disciplines necessary to the success of an endeavor, and as John Bielenberg stated, one must “think wrong” from time to time.

When design is used a vehicle for the communication of ideas among a diverse audience, the potential outcome can possess exponential and outlasting advantages over other mediums and outlets. Designers have the power to unite, inspire, and establish a base of supporters that will aid in forming positive movements, providing hope for often overlooked and disparate communities, creating something as simple as a new tool for social interaction, and ultimately achieving seemingly impossible dreams; the only question is how far one is willing to reach.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-12082014-134124

Author Kevin Joseph Melchiorri
Advisor Paul Down
Contributor Andre Murnieks, Committee Member
Contributor Christian Poellabauer, Committee Member
Contributor Paul Down, Committee Chair
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History and Design
Degree Name MFA
Defense Date
  • 2014-11-11

Submission Date 2014-12-08
  • United States of America

  • tribe

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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