Digital literacy: learning about creative technologies

Technology will save us website

Technology Will Save Us website

Learning about digital technologies, and how to use them creatively can be a bit of challenge mined with misconceptions. The ideas that it is too hard, too “techy”, not useful for your practice, or simply that it takes too much time to fully explore, are widely spread. Whilst we use tech everyday, we don’t necessarily know very much about them or how to experiment creatively. What are the resources that can help us to learn new skills, understand the technologies surrounding us, and feed our creativity with a bit of digital know-how?

Following her exploration of inspirational websites, and supporting the Creative Technology Day event being held at CSM, Sarah Kante looks at the digital resources helping us to explore creative technologies. The list of sites that follows covers coding, app building, making as well as learning software or educating children about technologies. Descriptions are in the websites’ own words. Continue reading

Digital sites that inspire us

http://www.vogue.co.uk/brand/central-saint-martins-ma

http://www.vogue.co.uk/brand/central-saint-martins-ma


When the blank sheet syndrome hits, or when your research is at a dead-end, digital resources can come to the rescue and provide inspiration. There are a multitude of sites posting about exciting new designers, trends and works – but which are the ones that can get our creative juices flowing every time?

Sarah Kante spoke to some Central Saint Martins students to get some ideas of their ‘go to’ websites, as well as asking some of her own network of art and design practitioners for the online resources that never disappoint when it comes to inspiration and research. Below is a list of recommendations, with ‘in their own words’ descriptions, to get you started on your own inspired digital wanderings. Continue reading

CSM Degree Show Two: exploring digital technology

Rolls-of-paper

CSM Degree Show Two saw graduating students from the design subjects exhibit their work to thousands of visitors. Whilst many used digital technologies in the execution of their projects this article concentrates on those who explored technologies from a critical perspective.

Questions relating to the changing techno-cultural landscape, as well as those relating to privacy, identity or addiction were tackled, not to mention digital working environment exploration by MA Innovation Management.

Sarah Kante takes a look at some of the work exhibited during the Degree Show.

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Degree Show One – part 2

Soraya Fatha, Theatre of the Lens desktop

Soraya Fatha, Theatre of the Lens desktop

In Degree Show One – part 1, Sarah Kante looked at the ways in which CSM graduating art students reacted to or questioned the themes of  Time, Social Media and Identities. In this article, she continues to look at Degree Show One, this time through the lens of students who took an interest in the idea of Environments and Realities – virtual, physical, fragmented… Continue reading

Degree Show One – part 1

Capsule by Kristina Pulejkova

Capsule by Kristina Pulejkova

Degree Show One at Central Saint Martins took place in May 2014, with an array of remarkable pieces on display from the Art Programme. Sarah Kante takes a look at some work of students who questioned digital technologies and our digitally mediated lives. From the subject of time, to a sense of fragmented realities, via social media and identities and environments (physical and digital), the scope of this year’s graduating students’ experiments and perspectives raised a lot of questions. This article is the first of two blog posts. Continue reading

The moodle experience

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Moodle, the UAL’s new virtual learning environment (VLE) has been operational for about a year now. Each course has a site, and students can use it to check timetables, download files or access a brief, for example. To introduce a VLE into any institution at a time of rapid socio-technical flux can be problematic, especially with so many competing digital platforms vying for students’ attention, such as Facebook, Google Tools, Twitter, or blogs.

In this article Sarah Kante takes a look at the user experience of Moodle, asks a range of students – the primary audience – how they use it and what they think of it, and tries to understand how this very important educational tool might be improved. Continue reading

The craft of 3D processes

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3D processes, such as laser-cutting, 3D printing and modelling, are an integral part of the University community’s experiments with form and materials, and their importance is growing across subject areas. Undergoing rapid advances, these processes have been talked about in the media, integrated in our syllabus, and have stimulated our imaginations in myriad ways.

UAL alumna Sarah Kante talks to CSM Specialist Technician Billy Dickinson about Almost Lost – a recent project for English Heritage – his views on the craft of 3D processes, and his thoughts about their associated myths and realities. Continue reading

The Bigger Picture of Design

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Design practices do not exist in their own little bubbles. They exist in relation to the ‘bigger picture’ of the world we live in. To address the many cultural, social and environmental issues that designers must consider, CSM runs the collaborative ‘Bigger Picture’ project for second year students in the Autumn Term. Design students from Product, Graphics, Ceramics and Architecture work together, and use a blog to work towards a collective understanding of big issues.

In this article, Sarah Kante looks at what the Big Picture is for designers, as well as how blogs might mediate collaboration.

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Exploring online learning for art and design

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As we are well aware, digital technologies have impacted massively upon the ways in which students learn, and how they engage with one another and with the University. The learning landscape is morphing, and technologies are playing an instrumental part, e.g. the rapid expansion of online learning provision through MOOCs, the phenomenal use of YouTube as an informal learning platform, Google’s new Helpout offering, and an array of other online initiatives – all available across multiple personal devices.

In this turbulent world where much formal and informal learning is undertaken online, Sarah Kante takes a swift look at MOOCs, e-learning, and ponders: what is a good online learning experience, and how can it be applied to art and design courses?

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