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

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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Disruption: art and design higher education futures

Neocraft_Humanising-the-machine-by-Frances-Norris_01Bower and Christensen came up with the term ‘disruptive technologies’ in their Harvard Business Review article, ‘Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave’ (1995: 43-53). Disruptive technologies can be viewed as early stage catalysts for change, and fundamentally destabilising of an existing equilibrium – be it a method, technology or product. Today, one such technology heralded as being disruptive is 3D printing*, or 3D manufacturing. In part, what is considered disruptive depends on its context and the scale or type of change; let’s remind ourselves that humanity has a long history of technologies causing radical global change (e.g. wheel, steam engine, Jacquard Loom, Gutenberg printing press, internet).  Whilst 3D manufacturing has yet to happen to any form of impactful scale, and indeed may not do so, its very concept allows us to imagine the implications of post-industrial manufacturing for the ways we might wish to develop future Art and Design higher education (HE). Central Saint Martins’ students are already creating possible scenarios, by connecting the present and the future. Continue reading

Physical and digital learning spaces

CSM clear dayA criticism of personal digital technologies is that they can distract students in class. However, as the statements below illustrate, physical settings can also be awash with distractions that hinder learning and teaching. With Art and Design higher education institutions facing increasing demands on their physical spaces, it’s worthwhile asking ourselves whether the very technologies we criticise might actually enable new models of learning and teaching, and provide better environments online than some of the physical locations we are using at present. Continue reading

Digital Literacy: socio-technical futures and arts higher education

Digital Skins. Copyright, Jenny Lee

Digital Skins. Copyright: Jenny Lee

Today, the UK’s higher education (HE) system is operating at a time of significant socio-economic and political flux, and rapid technological change. To add to this complex weave, and affecting arts departments and institutions throughout the country, the value of arts education has been under intense scrutiny at all levels. Hence, our current learning landscape is one that is unsettled, and as such, requires us to devote time to study, reflect and debate educational futures and values. Engagement with, or enabling of, multiple forms of digital literacy is a critical undertaking if those involved with arts and design HE are to have a meaningful, sustained and influential engagement with emerging socio-technical developments. Continue reading

Ubiquitous computing: does this area shape the digital literacy map?

London

November morning in London

Increasingly smart objects are present in our public spaces. Digital technologies, whether immediately apparent or ‘hidden’, intervene in our sensory engagement with physical space and the ways in which we make meaning of the world. With this convergence of digital and material, and the expanding relationships/networks formed with humans, is ubiquitous computing something that we should be including within the realm of digital literacy in arts and design education? Continue reading

Digital literacy within arts and design education?

Connecetd digital devices enabling cafe communication

Connected digital devices enabling online and offline communication in the cafe studio

When we consider how to start mapping what ‘digital literacy’ means within the context of a dynamic arts and design educational environment, and ever changing socio-technical systems, where do we start? Do we frame the exploration as a network-topological study, attend to the politics of search engines, and investigate our digital trace routes? Whatever the answer, it’s essential that digital literacy is not perceived simply as a set of technical skills. Continue reading