At C-HUB from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM every Tuesday from October to the end of December this year, the College of Planning and Design at NCKU has been holding a series of cross-disciplinary forums called CPD Talks: Synergy for the Future. The subjects of these talks focus on four issues, namely, technology, sustainability, education, and innovation, and the talks are being jointly planned and executed by the Department of Industrial Design, the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban Planning, and the Institute of Creative Industries Design. The primary organizer behind the talks, Dean Tay-Sheng Jeng of the College of Planning and Design, is fulfilling a wish that he has had for 18 years: to introduce the culture of cross-disciplinary exchange from overseas to the College of Planning and Design at NCKU, offer the latest knowledge and technology that cannot be learned in the classroom, eradicate old practices, and return universities to their roots. NCKU president Jenny Huey-Jen Jenny Su, who wholeheartedly supports this project, stated that they will promote the spirit and methods to other colleges in NCKU so that teachers and students will be able to engage in cross-disciplinary learning in an atmosphere of unlimited exchange.
The name of the talks conveys the hope that participants will be able to vocalize innovative ideas that will benefit the future through discussion and argument. Dean Tay-Sheng Jeng indicated that a college is the window between university and departments as well as the link between departments and stressed that its responsibility is to gather cross-disciplinary impacts. The College of Planning and Design comprises three departments and one institute, which began to unify with CPD Talks. They have surpassed their independent operations in the past and co-created a platform for sharing.
CPD Talks began in October with Vice Dean Min-Yuan Ma of the College of Planning and Design, sharing his experiences with Stanford d-school. In November, Dean Lin-Lin Chen from Eindhoven University in the Netherlands and three foreign students from NCKU’s Department of Architecture were invited to host cross-disciplinary exchanges. Each talk offered free lunch, and Dean Tay-Sheng Jeng stressed with joy that they have been providing an average of 100 free lunches to attending teachers and students every week, so attendance has been good.
Assistant professor Ing-Tse Chen has attended three weeks in a row and greatly approves of the talks. “It’s great to be able to have such an exchange platform. The few times I attended all felt pretty good. With the CPD Talks, teachers have regular opportunities to meet and learn together in their busy schedules, and it also deals with their need to eat on campus.” Ing-Tse Chen said that during the talks, she learned about the off-campus implementation strategies of the USR project, the blueprint plans for the Shalun Smart Green Energy Science City in Tainan, and the achievements and prospects of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Cross-Field Value-Adding program. She also had the opportunity to meet teachers from other departments and build connections during lunch, so each talk has been a major gain for her.
Students have also been actively participating in the talks. Gao-hua Liu, a student at the Department of Industrial Design who has attended every week, said that the experiences shared by Professor Ma on d-school left a deep impression on him and that participating in the talks has given him an understanding of projects in similar fields. Department of Industrial Design Nei-Wen Chang said, “I will continue to recommend it to my friends because of the free lunch.” Department of Urban Planning student Hsuan-Ho Yu noted, “It takes place during lunch time, so other things are less likely to get in the way.” Students are free to gather at C-HUB and have the opportunity to listen to the experiences shared by talkers, gain new knowledge, or interact with one another.
While free lunch may seem like the main attraction of the talks, it also played a role in the origin of the talks. Dean Tay-Sheng Jeng recalls the impact of the first Brown Bag Lecture that he attended while studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US in 1996 and still vividly remembers listening to the lecture with a brown bag lunch in his hands. Each week, the lecture venue offered a spectacular Buffet. Everyone was free to come and go, and it was completely free. “Enjoying a feast while learning about future technology was a major shock for a student studying abroad and makes you realize that there really is such a thing as free lunch!”
Tay-Sheng Jeng emphasized, “In the era of innovation, I hope to introduce the culture of cross-disciplinary exchange from overseas to the College of Planning and Design at NCKU, offer the latest knowledge and technology that cannot be learned in the classroom, eradicate old practices, and return universities to their roots.” Universities should be a place of knowledge integration, sharing, and exchange and where different opinions are aired. In this way, students and teachers can use their differences to train their critical thinking. However, most projects in the academia operate top-down with tasks being assigned, which leaves little room for independent thinking and new opportunities. Contrary to the standard, the CPD Talks held by the College of Planning and Design goes bottom-up and breaks with conventions. Teachers from various departments have free rein. They can seek topics they are interested in and autonomously create a platform that facilitates exchange, cooperation, and even fusion.
As for the actual achievements of the talks, Dean Tay-Sheng Jeng is keeping an open mind. He also plans to organize Pecha Kucha events and even national policy debate competitions. He stated, “Our most important objective is to make the participants really feel that education and learning are Free. We want them to form deep impressions during the talks. Maybe even something they inadvertently hear could change the way they think.”
成大規劃與設計學院 2018 年 10 月起至 12 月底，每週二中午12點到下午 1 點在 C-HUB 成大創意基地舉辦跨領域系列論壇 CPD Talks：Synergy for the Future，論壇主題囊括科技、永續、教育、創新等4個焦點議題，並集結工設系、建築系、都計系及創產所共同策劃及執行。主要發起人規劃與設計學院鄭泰昇院長表示自己一償任教以來 18 年的夙願，「將國外跨域交流的文化引進成大規設學院，並提供課堂上看不到、最先進的知識技術，改變舊有的風氣，回歸大學的本質。」大力支持此計劃的蘇慧貞校長則表示，將把此一精神及作法推廣到成大其他院系，在不設限的交流氛圍中促成師生跨域學習。
CPD 為 College of Planning & Design 的縮寫，而 Synergy for the Future 則為未來的協同效應。意指參與者將藉由一次次不同的論點撞擊，反映出對未來世界有所助益之創新思維。鄭泰昇院長指出，一所學院作為介於校與系之間的對口，以及系與系之間的連結，其責任應是匯聚跨領域的碰撞。而規劃與設計學院的三系一所，將開始藉著 CPD Talks 而凝聚一堂，跨越以往各自的獨立經營，共創分享的平台。
CPD Talks 10 月率先由規設學院馬敏元副院長以《Stanford d-school 經驗分享》揭開序幕，11 月先後邀請荷蘭 Eindhoven University 陳玲鈴院長、成大建築系 3 位外籍生等人進行跨域交流。每次論壇皆提供免費午餐，鄭泰昇院長開心地強調，截至目前，平均每週提供 100 份免費午餐給自由參加的師生。可見此計劃吸引不少師生參與。
成大建築系助理教授陳穎澤至今就連續參與 3 週，對此活動深表肯定。「能夠有這樣交流的平台很好。幾次參加下來感受都相當不錯，老師之間因為有 CPD Talks 而能在忙碌的工作中固定聚集、一起學習，同時解決校園裡用餐的需求。」陳穎澤說，在與談者的分享中不僅了解到 USR 計劃走出校園的實踐策略、台南沙崙智慧綠能科學城的規劃藍圖，以及科技部多年來在跨域加值計畫之努力成果與願景，還有機會跨界認識別系的老師，善用午餐時間創造連結，讓她每一場都覺得大有收穫。
學生參與的情況也相當踴躍，每週都出席的工設系劉高華同學說，第一場馬老師分享關於 d-school 的內容令他印象深刻，參與該活動讓他了解相似領域的專案內容。工設系張乃文同學則表示，「因為有 free lunch，所以會持續推薦朋友來參加。」而都計系余宣和同學認為，「活動時間在中午，較不容易卡到其他事。」同學們自由聚集在C-HUB聆聽與談者分享、汲取新知，抑或是彼此互動，都是相當寶貴的機會。
免費午餐似乎是活動吸引人的一點，而這更是活動緣起的亮點。鄭泰昇院長回憶，1996年他在美國喬治亞理工學院求學時，第一次參加 Brown Bag Lectures 活動的震撼，拿著牛皮紙袋中餐聽演講的情景仍歷歷在目。每週在演講現場還有滿桌豐盛的 Buffet 可自行取用，且自由入場、完全免費，「一面享受宴席一面接觸未來科技的畫面，對當時旅外留學的學生來說，不僅是莫大的衝擊，更體悟原來天底下真的有白吃的午餐！」
鄭泰昇描述，負責籌辦那場演講的 GVU Center 邀請到 MIT 麻省理工學院的學者來分享，一位穿戴各種電子裝置的「機器人」走進會場，現場投影出該「機器」人眼睛所觀看之畫面，就如同現在的VR原型。想當年尚未有穿戴式電腦的概念，卻已有如此前衛的技術應用，令人驚奇。
更讓人印象深刻的是，設計心理學權威 Donald Norman 教授一進場，舉起一張紙和一部筆記型電腦，詢問在場聽眾何者才是最高深的科技？想必許多人都會回答是筆電，但講者卻說：「是紙！」紙才是最偉大的資訊科技，因為紙不但是文字介面，也是文化載體，有很好的使用介面，可以彎、可以折，眼淚滴在信紙上，還可以留下「情感」的痕跡；但電腦不行，檔案一刪掉便消失了。
鄭泰昇說，這一幕著實讓他開了眼界，也令他再次反思面對科技的態度。比方近期被高度討論的 AI 人工智慧、深度學習，各界均預測將取代醫師、律師等專業，但他認為，大學教授不應該一昧地遵循主流的立場及風向，若嘗試運用批判性思考，是否能提出不同的看法進行一場論辯賽？
鄭泰昇強調，「在創新的年代，我們難道還在用上一代傳統的方法去教導我們的下一代？希望能將國外跨域交流的文化引進成大規設學院，並提供課堂上看不到、最先進的知識技術，改變舊有的風氣，回歸大學的本質。」大學本應是一處充滿知識整合、分享交流、激盪出不同觀點的場所，藉此，師生可在彼此差異間訓練批判性思考。然而，學界許多計劃案的運作程序通常是自上而下、命令式的指派任務，難以有自主思考與創新的機會。因此，有別於制式的流程，規設學院籌辦 CPD TALKS 時反而是以由下而上的方式進行，突破傳統模式，讓各系老師自由發揮，尋找有興趣的主題參與，自主地建立易於交流、合作、甚至產生融合的平台。
「當初聽到他們提出的方案，其實我也不知道會發生什麼事？」但不設限能達到什麼預設效果，就是鄭泰昇院長籌辦本次活動的原則。例如 10 月 9 日由奇美醫院老人科主任蔡岡廷針對《在宅醫療趨勢下的設計需求》提出高齡化社會及醫療需求的轉變，看起來跟規劃設計並不相關，但事實上，不論在醫療產品、空間規劃、都市社區營造等，這個議題均具備相當密切的關聯。10 月 16 日及23 日分別由張秀慈教授、林子平教授、陳世明教授闡述 USR 計劃的意義、策略、各場域實踐的成果展示。
對於活動的實際成果，鄭泰昇院長保持開放態度，未來也計劃安排一場 Pecha Kucha 跨域交流、甚至國家政策辯論賽。他表示，「我們最重要的目標是，讓參與者實際感受到教育與學習是 Free的，且得以在參與過程中，留下深刻的印象，也許是不經意地聽到一句話，進而讓舊有的思維轉變。」他深信，師生們在吃東西時較容易放鬆、較不受拘束，有助於打開心胸接收新知，老師們藉由定期聚集，在中午用餐時間閒聊，當人人都開始走出自己的領域，了解其他領域在做的事，便能創造出更多交流的機會。這也就是 CPD TALKS 的兩大重要特色。（撰文、攝影／實習記者黃千容 圖片／成大規劃與設計學院提供）