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

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

CSM MA Textile Futures at the V&A Digital Design Weekend

Design is Everywhere

With the increased prevalence of digital technology in design, this year’s London Design Festival saw an entire weekend dedicated to the phenomenon at the V&A’s Digital Design Weekend. Described as a series of events that aimed at celebrating collaborations in digital art, design and science, the weekend included a full programme of installations, labs, activities, talks and screenings which very much recalled the format and atmosphere of a final degree show. Artists, designers and scientists were seen describing and sharing their work with the museum’s visitors, including CSM’s own recent MA Textile Futures graduates showing their work in the Sackler Centre. Continue reading

UAL Exchange: a new app for cross-disciplinary collaboration

UAL Exchange AppAn excellent example of learning in action – recent MA Innovation Management graduate Vuong Tong has developed UAL Exchange, an iOS Application that aims to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge share across the University of the Arts London (UAL). Developed while working at Central Saint Martins’ Innovation Centre last year, Vuong invited several of his fellow MA:IM colleagues (Digital Present’s Rita Fernandez included) to take part in the ideation stage of the project. The final proposal was funded by SEE (Student Enterprise & Employability), and recently Rita helped the preparations to launch UAL Exchange on the App Store, and to the UAL community. Continue reading

Moodle Matters at Central Saint Martins

Welcome to UAL Moodle

The University-wide implementation of Moodle – a major element of the new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – is in full swing, as one of a number of Digital Life projects currently being undertaken by UAL. The Blackboard plug is being pulled – so to speak – at the end of July and Moodle will be taking its place. So imminent is the migration that three MA courses at CSM have been using live Moodle sites since January. Continue reading

Assessment Feedback – Online

online assessment form

Online assessment feedback – tutor view

Together with Technical Developer Sat Anandhan, John Jackson – CLTAD’s Educational Developer (eLearning) – has been involved in UAL’s Online Assessment Tool (OAT) project since its inception. Here he discusses OAT’s journey so far and plans for the future.

OAT is an online assessment grading and feedback tool developed by CLTAD to support the delivery of high quality and timely assessment feedback to students throughout the university. Available to course teams as an optional alternative to using the Word based assessment feedback forms, it was used for the first time on two courses (one London College of Fashion, the other London College of Communication) in late December 2011.

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CSM My Digital Life Workshop

My Digital Life workshop - Photo, Rita Fernandez

Student engagement with digital devices – Photo, Rita Fernandez

Over the course of the Spring Term Rita Fernandez joined several of her classmates from the MA Innovation Management course to participate in a research assignment as part of My Digital Life, a UAL initiative aimed at interrogating student engagement with digital technologies. The research culminated in a workshop-style event held at Central Saint Martins, where four groups presented to an audience comprised of students, staff and faculty from across the University’s colleges. Rita shares her experience and some of the research insights. Continue reading

Kenyan artists and designers: Digital aspirations

Kenya, group exploration of digital technologies

Kenya: group exploration of digital technologies

Having recently spent an intense and rewarding time exploring the relationships between artists/designers and digital technologies in Nairobi, Jo Morrison was struck by the similarities between their experiences and those of students at Central Saint Martins. Continue reading