TEI 2015 conference

US flagsThe Tangible Embodied Interaction 2015 conference and workshops, led by Bill Verplank and Wendy Ju, took place at Stanford University in mid-January. As would be expected from a multi-disciplinary gathering there was a broad range of perspectives shared, prototypes exhibited, and collaborative creative investigations initiated. Of particular interest was the presentation about the pioneering work of Interval Research that brought the question from MIT Media Lab’s Hiroshi Ishii – who summed up many recent conversations I’ve been having – “If we knew all of this in the 90s then why did it all go into the black hole of the smartphone?”. Indeed, across the 90s and early noughties there was much work undertaken in industry and university research labs, and artists’ and designers’ studios, that really needs to be revisited to inspire and inform today’s researchers and practitioners. Continue reading

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

Mobile devices as conceptual and creative instruments

Natha Khunprasert, MA Design student

Work of Natha Khunprasert, MA Design, exhibited at Blythe House 2014

Digital Present is interested in understanding the impacts of students’ personal mundane technologies on their learning lives. In this article CSM MA Applied Imagination student, Paulina Jawor, explores how smartphones are adopted by students as part of their art practice and looks at the work of her peers. She also looks briefly at how smartphones became integral to the conceptual and making processes undertaken by CSM MA Design students for the recent Blythe House project.*

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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

Inspirational and Open: Creative Technology Day 2014

Ayse and Miguel from Imperial College bring their robots

Ayse and Miguel from Imperial College bring their robots


The amazing range of ideas shared at Creative Technology Day was stellar. It was a day that brought together people who would never normally meet or learn from one another, and for that time, in that place, connections were made that will make our future better.

Over time, this blog will publish about the day, once the extraordinary amount of stuff shared has time to settle into new forms or shapes. Until then, enjoy some images that I hope represent well some of the day’s events – a day that I imagined and the participants collectively made real, and beautiful. Continue reading

Designs on eLearning Conference 2014 – Texas, US

Flags 2014

The 2014 DeL conference took place in Texas in September 2014. It brought together academics from Canada, America and Europe to explore the impact of digital technologies on the evolving pedagogic landscape, and asked how these transformations are influencing art and design teaching practices. Through a series of presentations, workshops and panel discussions, the event questioned how we can maximize the potential of digital technology to improve student learning.

The University of the Arts London made a broad and deep contribution to this international conference, sharing research, case studies, futures thinking and technical know-how.

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Learning and Teaching Day 2015: creative teaching and risk

risk innovation 2I’m currently reading a book that reveals the findings from a two-year research study into those who ‘hack the city’ – i.e. trespass without causing harm to anyone or anything. I have been reminded of an exploratory project I undertook with an international cohort of researchers at CHI 2014. We experimented in ways to reveal the hidden urban infrastructure and to enable citizens to recode their normalised routines in city space through creatively exploiting the system’s fractures. We called this ‘surprising the system’.

To transgress and take risks, to creatively circumvent rules and expectations, and to probe disciplinary boundaries are at the heart of what goes on in Central Saint Martins’ teaching spaces, such as workshops, seminars and libraries. Continue reading

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

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