‘Natural Colours in Making’, a teacher’s community, was established by six TNUA teachers from different departments (Fine Arts, New Media, Theatre Design, Architectural and Cultural Heritage). The community held four events including a guest lecture by the historian Dr. Chen Kuo-Tung (陳國棟) from the Academia Sinica on the maritime commercial history of indigo; a workshop of Double Ikat of Indian and Taiwanese indigenous weavers; a demonstration workshop on extracting colour pigments from the plants; and a presentation on colour and light.

In the beginning, most members of the teachers’ community were not familiar with indigo. They joined partly out of curiosity and partly with the intention to develop the MOOC course titled ‘Natural Colours’ together. This community was partly supported by the university Center for Teaching and Learning but in the end, the number of activities was over the requirement of the center – a unique case! The teachers were so motivated by the sharing of different perceptions on the research or practices of natural colours that they autonomously initiated activities. This is despite being busy with their own daily duties. The community now has a shared interest in Taiwanese indigo and a common concrete target to develop a new MOOC course on natural colours. This multiple- disciplinary participation of faculties promises a fruitful curriculum for the future course.

Min-Chin Chiang

 

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