Creative Technology Day: 2 October 2014

logo-greenCreative Technology Day on Thursday 2 October supports our collective understanding of ‘learning through making’ with creative technologies in both formal and informal settings. It brings together the primary, secondary and Higher Education communities, along with the cultural sector and technology companies. By collecting a curious and interesting group of active makers for whom the interrogation and use of creative technologies are core to their work, we hope to provide a convivial and informal opportunity for people to learn from one another, make connections, develop new knowledge and advance collective understanding.

Tremendously creative projects using technologies in myriad ways have been developed in so many learning spaces, but rarely do professionals from across the educational spectrum have an opportunity to spend a day exploring together. Central Saint Martins alongside the V&A Museum, Queen Mary University of London, Soda, British Library, Calvium and schools partners are collectively organising this event, which will be held at CSM. Continue reading

Blythe House project: chaos and radical containment?

blythe house research session archiveThe Blythe House project being undertaken by Central Saint Martins MA Design students and CSM staff and the Victoria and Albert Museum, is motivating for a number of reasons – one of which is its experimental and collaborative nature. The project itself has been described in earlier posts, and will be documented periodically as part of the research process.

Whilst the MA Design students’ rigorous critical engagement in the Blythe House project is underpinned by ‘the deviant traditions of studio and conservatory’ (Schon,1987:17), this article will consider the larger institutional setting – the educational system within which the project is undertaken. By taking time out to acknowledge the landscape, we, the staff team, are putting into practice Donald Schon’s ‘reflection-in-action’. Continue reading

Digital literacy: design research at Blythe House

Blyhe House research tools studentsWalking amongst Dame Edna Everage’s boxed wigs, Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe costumes, black and white photographs of the V&A estate through the decades, iconic printed posters and one of Hussein Chalyan’s garments – as part of his final collection at Central Saint Martins – is all in a day’s work for the curatorial and Higher Education teams at Blythe House. However, for CSM’s staff and students it was an extraordinary and fascinating adventure.

As explained in an earlier post, the reason for the MA Design first year cohort to be amongst so many boxes and costumes and objects, is the experimental project being undertaken at the V&A museum’s archive. This article will provide a brief summary of how the group have been invited to foreground their research tools and processes as part of the study. Continue reading

Digital literacy: this way for tassels and pompoms!

Photograph at Blythe House, Victoria and Albert Museum 2014

Living in a perpetual upgrade culture, where technological obsolescence is the norm and our personal digital devices have become ubiquitous and mundane artefacts, has huge implications for 21st century art and design archives, and for art and design education. It is with this in mind that students and staff from Central Saint Martins today embarked upon an experimental project set at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which explores designerly relationships with mobile technologies as part of the creative research process. In doing so they are contributing to the ongoing discussion about what digital literacy means in a contemporary art and design setting. Continue reading

Data Jam at Open Data Institute

Restless Futures Data JamThe hottest day of the year so far, the FA Cup Final and the Data Jam event at the Open Data Institute all coincided on 17 May 2014 in London. Enough has been written about Arsenal’s victory, so this post concentrates on the creative exploration of open data.

As part of Central Saint Martins’ Restless Futures programme, UAL’s Charlotte Webb organised a workshop with the ODI, for curious students and staff to collaboratively and creatively engage with the possibilities of open data. Continue reading

What does it mean to be digitally literate in the world of Hip Hop?

Dr Dre on stage. Creative Commons copyright https://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo/12076130315/

Dr Dre on stage. Creative Commons copyright https://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo/12076130315/

University of the Arts London journalism student, James Childs, is exploring some of the ways in which digital technologies have impacted upon, and are influencing, the practices of the Hip Hop community. He is doing so in order to explore what digital literacy means in an holistic sense, what are the different forms of digital literacy that a creative community displays and how might their experience help other artistic communities to understand their own evolving relationships with digital technologies? What does it mean to be digitally literate in the world of Hip Hop?

For his first article James spoke with Fatawu Issah, a Hip Hop enthusiast and fan. Continue reading

How can typography be represented in an alter-modern context?

Altermodern. Lettering. Copyright Anna Nazo, 2014

Altermodern. Lettering. Copyright Anna Nazo, 2014

Anna Nazarova, a final year Central Saint Martins MA Communication Design student, provides a fascinating account of her interwoven creative process, and in particular highlights the imbricated relationship between physical and digital materials that she employs as part of her design practice.

“In my final year project, as part of my cross-disciplinary practice, I work with typography – its role and place today. I am rethinking the visual and conceptual role of future arts and crafts and their digital contexts. My major piece of research asks: How can typography be represented in an alter-modern context? In my work I place typography, languages and technologies at the intersection of art and design, with a reflection of contemporary context through the concept of altermodernity. Continue reading

Architecture Configuration Movement: Surprising the system

The PATH in downtown Toronto

The PATH in downtown Toronto

This article aims to provide an overview of a project named ‘Configure PATH: surprise the system’, developed at the Interaction and Architectural Space workshop at CHI 2014. Written under the fug of jet-lag, and with memories already fading…here goes…

The intent of the two-day CHI workshop was to bring together multi-disciplinary expertise from architecture and human computer interaction to foreground the role of interactive technologies in spatial settings.  The group of five that developed the ‘Configure PATH’ project was led by the Mixed Reality Lab’s Holger Schnadelbach, and the Bartlett’s Tasos Varoudis – co-organisers of the workshop. Along with three other teams, we were asked to create an interactive intervention in a space near to the Toronto Convention Centre, which would then be presented and analysed with all participants. Continue reading

The Face of Code: understanding your tools

 

The Face of Code. copyright Timothy Klofski 2014

FACE of CODE, hand made digital, hand altered file code of layered typefaces. Copyright Timothy Klofski 2014

Central Saint Martins’ MA Communication Design student, Timothy Klofski, is learning how to code as part of his final year project. He is openly documenting and sharing his learning process through a blog (http://timothycodes.myblog.arts.ac.uk), and in this article gives a background to his experimentation with programming in an attempt to explore the boundaries, and barriers, of the visual mind towards code. In doing so, Timothy is developing a deep understanding of the mechanics of the digital world, and expanding his ‘digital literacy.’
Continue reading

Online learning: mutuality and desire

 

Copyright Svala Regnars, MA Photojournalism, LCC

Copyright Svala Regnars, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, LCC


I was struck by the comment of Sarah Kante, a recent UAL graduate, who explained, “What really is missing in an online learning environment are the creative physical environments, the people we meet, and of course, the technicians we all rely on so much.” Coincidentally, the previous evening I had read an interview with CSM technical specialist Billy Dickinson who, when asked about his biggest creative inspiration, replied “The students. It’s inspiring to be constantly surrounded by new ideas and be challenged to support them in finding different ways to realise their visions.”  Whilst not wishing to provide a schmaltzy article about an apparent love-in between students and technicians, I do want to highlight how important these reciprocal creative and respectful relationships are, and how vital they are to a successful and socially constructed art and design Higher Education (HE) experience.

Yes, the calibre and commitment of CSM’s technical staff is impressive; they are as good as it gets. But what I want to take for a wander in this post is the concept of mutuality – the active role of the social situation in the spatial context. However, the focus will be the virtual learning environment, i.e. the digital space, so I’m going to shift attention from the emotional creative relationships in the 3D workshop space, and ponder whether the form of social solidarity that Sarah and Billy expressed can be fostered and sustained in an online art and design learning environment. Continue reading