Sustaining Sao Paulo: uniting different academic perspectives through design

Design is said to be central in unifying a holistic understanding of complex systems. It must amalgamate knowledge from ‘art’, ‘literature’, ‘music’, ‘philosophy’, ‘math’, ‘science’, ‘technology’, ‘social science’ and more, with its own understanding. But within these subjects are more defined individual interests that must interweave and complement other qualities. This paper presents a glimpse of what lies underneath the disciplinary institutional nomenclature that administers and organizes knowledge into collective identities that may not usually interact beyond the boundary of a subject. Under the guise of ‘bridging the gaps’ between STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering math) and non-traditional partners such as arts, humanities, or social science, efforts to expose diverse interests in sustainable urbanism for São Paulo are explained here. Towards consilience best describes the intention and willingness of diverse disciplinary perspectives that come together and share expertise and knowledge in the service of sustainability.