5th Intercultural Arts Education Conference: Design Learning

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Designing improvisation: Intercultural collaboration and musical imagination Abstract: The conference theme is that’design in mind’ is a creative process that offers new ways of thinking and sharing ideas in a group, where design is seen as a generic cultural activity, and our aim in this paper is to show how musical improvisation fits exactly into this description. We start by considering the essential characteristics of improvisation, describing it as essentially social, spontaneous, creative and accessible. We then go on to consider improvisation in jazz, a musical domain which is characterised by its use of improvisation. Jazz thrives and develops through broadening its boundaries with other musical genres and cultures, and we consider some of these developments from an international point of view, mentioning some of the key musicians in doing so. We conclude by summarising our main points in relation to the conference theme of design learning, and suggest that our analysis of musical improvisation has clear applications for education, as well as in the promotion of health and well-being, and social inclusion.
Period10 May 201211 May 2012
Event typeConference
LocationHelsinki, FinlandShow on map


  • design
  • learning
  • improvisation
  • collaboration
  • jazz
  • creativity