How we impact the world around us: KI-X 2018

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UW’s annual Knowledge Integration eXhibition (KI-X 2018) took place at St. Jerome’s University College last week from March 12-17.

This year’s exhibition was centered around the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with each of the five exhibits based on a different SDG. These interactive and educational exhibits were created by third year Knowledge Integration students after a seven month process of planning, designing, and building.

“Knowledge Integration is focused around the connection between disciplines,” third year KI student Katrien Jacobs said, “it’s about bridging across different areas of focus from psychology to biology or computer science to linguistics.” The unique four year undergraduate program teaches its students various skills such as how to work collaboratively, and think creatively and critically in order to solve complex real world problems.

The study of museums is a key part of the KI curriculum, as students are able to learn different methods of organizing information and communicating ideas to the public. This year’s group of third year students went on a 10-day trip to Barcelona where they visited and studied the city’s museums. “We were heavily inspired by the museums that we saw,” Jacob said. “It allowed us to have a more effective style seeing what did work well and what didn’t.”

The students worked in teams of six, using what they learned from the trip and their classes to create their own “effective and enjoyable” exhibits with which visitors could engage.

One of this year’s exhibits, All You Can Eat?, tackled common misconceptions about food banks. Through its interactive displays, visitors were encouraged to think about how they could support local food banks by donating food and more importantly, time and money. Shaping Social Societies invited visitors to interact with each other with the help of conversation-starter cards, following the exhibit’s theme of breaking isolation within our society. Another exhibit, Breaking News, examined the relationship between the public and the press, and the issue of bias and dishonesty in the media.

“Each of the exhibits relates to giving individuals a sense of how their actions relate to some of these wider issues that the Sustainable Development Goals are centered on,” Lucy Buller, who worked on Breaking News, said.

KI-X 2018 also featured the Core Choices and Workscape exhibits which focused on how to make conscious choices when shopping for food and the various struggles faced by migrant workers, respectively.

Through this project, KI students wish to inform others about the current issues that our world is facing. Jacobs concluded, “I think [the main message of the exhibition] is to be more aware of yourself in relation to the rest of the world and how you can affect it.”