Blythe House project: chaos and radical containment?

blythe house research session archiveThe Blythe House project being undertaken by Central Saint Martins MA Design students and CSM staff and the Victoria and Albert Museum, is motivating for a number of reasons – one of which is its experimental and collaborative nature. The project itself has been described in earlier posts, and will be documented periodically as part of the research process.

Whilst the MA Design students’ rigorous critical engagement in the Blythe House project is underpinned by ‘the deviant traditions of studio and conservatory’ (Schon,1987:17), this article will consider the larger institutional setting – the educational system within which the project is undertaken. By taking time out to acknowledge the landscape, we, the staff team, are putting into practice Donald Schon’s ‘reflection-in-action’. 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

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

Print and digital publishing: CSM BA Graphic Design

HIRES

Central Saint Martins’ BA Graphic Design has always been a versatile course, covering different media, concepts, outcomes and disciplines by utilising a variety of print and digital media – such as illustration, typography, photography and video. In the realms of contemporary publishing, the graphic design field is facing some major questions and reconsiderations over the practice’s intention and purpose in relation to presenting digital design. As the printing press comes up against the iPad, how does Central Saint Martins prepare its students for a rapidly evolving industry, whist simultaneously staying ahead of the game? Continue reading

Smartphone: intimate, incidental, and indispensible

FaceTime on the 76 bus to Kings Cross

Personal mobile devices provide immediate location independent access to information, and are used as powerful creative tools by arts and design students at Central Saint Martins. The relationships that they have with their smartphones are evolving and multifaceted, yet at the same time students often perceive this mobile device as a mundane object, failing to acknowledge the many roles it plays in their lives. Smartphones are central to the ways in which many students are navigating their daily experience, eg waking up to the Marimba ringtone, international video-conferencing on the bus, and using any number of mobile apps to consider physical space. The smartphone appears to be an endlessly pliable technology that has glided into, and altered, our social and cultural processes. Continue reading