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

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 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

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

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

Communicating fashion in the digital age

FCP

Be it apps or websites, a freesheet we pick up on the Tube or an expensive glossy print magazine, we are offered unprecedented opportunities for distraction due to the over-abundance of physical and digital information competing for our attention. There can be no better place to explore this dynamic and multi-platform information landscape than through the world of fashion.

In this article Sarah Kante meets with Central Saint Martins’ BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, and asks: How is fashion communicated creatively in the digital age? What are the present and unfolding relationships between analogue and digital? How are the FCP students approaching both media in their projects?

Continue reading

Opening the studio doors

LCF Studio at JPSAs a foundation student, (many moons ago), I was encouraged to wander the studio spaces at every opportunity. I wasn’t always welcomed with open arms, but it was understood that this was a right to be exercised in art school. Sometimes, the 3rd-year students would even talk to me!

Fast-forward (gulp) nearly thirty years to UAL and such encounters are not always so easy to come by. Operating in the middle of London, space and security issues close down some of the opportunities to see what’s going on outside your own course ‘silo’ – for both staff and students. It’s particularly challenging in London College of Fashion, operating across numerous sites. Given these physical limitations, what role might digital spaces play in bringing us together? Continue reading

Are personal recording devices impeding students’ experience of ‘being in the moment’, and if so, does it matter?

Image by Vladimir Agafonkin


Image by Vladimir Agafonkin

Recording, be it audio, video, or simply snapping pictures of everything and anything we think we’ll want to remember, has become part of our routine. For the student experience within the context of an art and design environment, this habit of whipping out our devices every time we want to remember or document something has implications. What are they? And why do we so readily forget to be in the moment and delay our experiences to a time and a place we might feel more comfortable processing the information recorded?

In advance of the ‘Being Lecture Captured’ discussion at London College of Fashion, Sarah Kante reflects on her own experience of being a UAL student, and offers a provocation to the Pedagogic Research Hub. Continue reading

Physical and digital spaces enabling openness and collaboration

Image created by Adrienne Yancey for opensource.com

Image created by Adrienne Yancey for opensource.com

By bringing most of Central Saint Martins’ courses under one roof, the King’s Cross building is the embodiment of collaboration, openness and sharing. No longer are we unaware of what’s happening in the studio or the workshop next door. The multiple collaborations already born from the openness of the building and the mingling of students from different practices are to be cherished and celebrated. This culture of openness and collaborative making extends beyond the College and into all forms of physical and digital spaces; disciplinary boundaries become porous, as we find ourselves sharing more and more – be it in the virtual world or in the real world, or mixed-realities. In this post, UAL alumna Sarah Kante explores just a few of the ways that our students, and the community of global makers, are participating in collaborative and multi-disciplinary making spaces that explore technology, electronics, design, art and much, much more. Continue reading

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