TEI 2015 conference

US flagsThe Tangible Embodied Interaction 2015 conference and workshops, led by Bill Verplank and Wendy Ju, took place at Stanford University in mid-January. As would be expected from a multi-disciplinary gathering there was a broad range of perspectives shared, prototypes exhibited, and collaborative creative investigations initiated. Of particular interest was the presentation about the pioneering work of Interval Research that brought the question from MIT Media Lab’s Hiroshi Ishii – who summed up many recent conversations I’ve been having – “If we knew all of this in the 90s then why did it all go into the black hole of the smartphone?”. Indeed, across the 90s and early noughties there was much work undertaken in industry and university research labs, and artists’ and designers’ studios, that really needs to be revisited to inspire and inform today’s researchers and practitioners. Continue reading

Online learning: University of the Arts London workshop

Workflow grabAs we are well aware, due to a series of changes in technology, economics and the web, the global higher education landscape is shifting and impacting the ways in which students learn, how they engage with one another and with the University. In this complex world where much formal and informal learning is undertaken online and on the move, and with increasing interest at the University of the Arts London to provide solely online or blended learning provision, Jo Morrison (Digital Projects Director) and Darren Gray (Head of e-Learning) led a workshop to investigate online education. This article provides a quick background to distance education based upon the discussions that took place amongst the workshop participants, which in turn provided a base for the subsequent investigation. Continue reading

Creative Technology Day: group discussions

Chair AXJ

A common thread running through the projects shown at Creative Technology Day was the aesthetic and affective qualities of the work. As makers, who are actively engaged in combining digital stuff (software, code, data…) with material stuff (sensors, fabric, micro-controllers…) and space (physical, virtual, hybrid), the importance of creative engagement and critical inquiry was evident in the work of all participants, including BBC Learning, Nesta, Microsoft Research, V&A, Thornhill School, Winton Primary School, Calvium and Technology Will Save Us.

Along with the show and tell sessions, presentations and making workshops, a set of discussions took place on the day. This article provides an insight into the conversations amongst participants from the educational, technology and cultural sectors. Continue reading

Reframing Blythe House Workshop

IMG_7484Central Saint Martins and the V&A are exploring the archives at Blythe House. As part of the process, in October 2014 the museum’s James Sutton joined Jo Morrison, Elizabeth Wright and the second year MA Design students to discuss some of the research undertaken to date. This swift article uses the theme of ‘frames’, and shares some of the ways in which frames, and the act of framing, were investigated during the workshop. Continue reading

Creative Communities: expanding conceptions of digital literacy

blog materialsThere is no collective understanding of what is meant by digital literacy within Art and Design Higher Education. Yes, we use the term, it is part of the educational lexicon, simultaneously it can be a funding theme, a staff development activity, and a catch-all for safe, acceptable and discerning practices online. With the term ‘digital literacy’ so pervasive and already embedded in multiple ways across many educational institutions, one could understandably question whether it is it important to have a common conception of what digital literacy means within an individual art and design institution? Continue reading

Creative technologies and future careers

CTD picIan Thompson, University of the Arts London’s Head of Extended Schools Partnerships, coordinated the schools’ engagement in Creative Technology Day 2014. Here, he takes a moment to feedback on aspects of the event.

“It was fantastic to be part of an event that brought together people with different expertise, backgrounds and ages around a common curiosity:  How can technology be put to creative use.” Continue reading

A school’s perspective: Creative Technology Day 2014

Daniela Toledo, textile design

Daniela Toledo, textile design, 2014

Cavan Pledge, Head of Art at Hillview School in Kent, and a key partner in Creative Technology Day 2014, reflects upon his experience of the event held at Central Saint Martins on Thursday 2 October.

“It was an exciting and unique event, which provided participants with a vast ‘tree’ of information connecting Primary School computer coding, Secondary School implementation of the new Computing Curriculum at the roots, with a broad trunk of creative application and exploration at HE Level to a canopy of creative individuals, businesses and cultural organisations using cutting edge computer technologies in a range of specialist applications.” Continue reading

Inspirational and Open: Creative Technology Day 2014

Ayse and Miguel from Imperial College bring their robots

Ayse and Miguel from Imperial College bring their robots


The amazing range of ideas shared at Creative Technology Day was stellar. It was a day that brought together people who would never normally meet or learn from one another, and for that time, in that place, connections were made that will make our future better.

Over time, this blog will publish about the day, once the extraordinary amount of stuff shared has time to settle into new forms or shapes. Until then, enjoy some images that I hope represent well some of the day’s events – a day that I imagined and the participants collectively made real, and beautiful. Continue reading

Designs on eLearning Conference 2014 – Texas, US

Flags 2014

The 2014 DeL conference took place in Texas in September 2014. It brought together academics from Canada, America and Europe to explore the impact of digital technologies on the evolving pedagogic landscape, and asked how these transformations are influencing art and design teaching practices. Through a series of presentations, workshops and panel discussions, the event questioned how we can maximize the potential of digital technology to improve student learning.

The University of the Arts London made a broad and deep contribution to this international conference, sharing research, case studies, futures thinking and technical know-how.

Continue reading

Learning and Teaching Day 2015: creative teaching and risk

risk innovation 2I’m currently reading a book that reveals the findings from a two-year research study into those who ‘hack the city’ – i.e. trespass without causing harm to anyone or anything. I have been reminded of an exploratory project I undertook with an international cohort of researchers at CHI 2014. We experimented in ways to reveal the hidden urban infrastructure and to enable citizens to recode their normalised routines in city space through creatively exploiting the system’s fractures. We called this ‘surprising the system’.

To transgress and take risks, to creatively circumvent rules and expectations, and to probe disciplinary boundaries are at the heart of what goes on in Central Saint Martins’ teaching spaces, such as workshops, seminars and libraries. Continue reading