Digital sites that inspire us

http://www.vogue.co.uk/brand/central-saint-martins-ma

http://www.vogue.co.uk/brand/central-saint-martins-ma


When the blank sheet syndrome hits, or when your research is at a dead-end, digital resources can come to the rescue and provide inspiration. There are a multitude of sites posting about exciting new designers, trends and works – but which are the ones that can get our creative juices flowing every time?

Sarah Kante spoke to some Central Saint Martins students to get some ideas of their ‘go to’ websites, as well as asking some of her own network of art and design practitioners for the online resources that never disappoint when it comes to inspiration and research. Below is a list of recommendations, with ‘in their own words’ descriptions, to get you started on your own inspired digital wanderings. Continue reading

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

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

BA Fashion Communication and Promotion: Challenging assumptions

Student blog

CSM tutor Hywel Davies and the second year BA Fashion Communication and Promotion (FCP) cohort at CSM have been exploring the uses of blogs to support collaboration within an arts and design environment. The students are working in groups to produce short film responses to a forthcoming prestigious exhibition in London, and they are investigating blogs as part of the project.

In the spirit of my ‘findings on the fly’ open research approach, this article shares insights from the study thus far. Continue reading

Skype at CSM: staff survey feedback

CSM MIT collaborative workshop using Skype

Historically Central Saint Martins has had a tricky relationship with Skype. For a number of years, and for a number of reasons, Skype services were not accessible through the university’s network. Whilst one argument maintained that the university’s ‘digital experience’ provision was less than staff and students would expect when outside of the institution, a counter claim was that Skype used excessive bandwidth and posed potential security issues for the university network as a whole. Both points were valid, and the situation highlights the complex issues faced by institutions worldwide when dealing with the rapid advancement of digital systems.

Today, however, as highlighted in the recent CSM Social Media and Digital Tools survey, there is a marked increase in the number of staff using Skype as part of their university life. 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

Smartphones: ‘connecting to the rest of the world’

Illustration: technology and imagination

Much is reported of the staggering adoption of mobile technologies worldwide. In particular the smartphone is influencing our behaviours in all manner of ways, and for many university students it has become an essential part of their everyday lives. These personal and portable devices are now inextricably involved in how we experience the world.

As educators, how could we, or should we, view smartphones within an arts and design context? Are they extensions of the studio, a form of prosthetic that alters our body schema, or a distraction that renders actions invisible and disturbs continuity and flow?

As part of a study into the ways in which personal digital technologies are incorporated into arts and design education, a second year cohort of CSM undergraduate students has provided insights about their relationship with smartphones.

Continue reading