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

Lecture capture: does everything need to be recorded?

It’s a given – if in London you expect to be recorded. Surveillance technologies are part of our everyday experience – state, corporate or private. Our mobile phones track us and act as our proxies in physical space, data-sets detailing our most incidental online moves are stored – and sold – to feed current and emerging technologies and companies, we upload millions of images and videos to the web each day, and on and on. Nothing we don’t already know. So, on a rainy Wednesday night why were staff from across the University of the Arts London (UAL) discussing something so seemingly pedestrian as the recording of lectures in an arts and design setting? No home life? 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

Designing for Sustainability

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Projections show that 5.1 billion people will own mobile phones in four years time; nearly 1 billion more than do so today. And as mobile phones and other devices become more prevalent in both developed and developing economies, so will cloud computing and storage applications continue to flourish. On a daily basis I collaborate, store and share files with my Central Saint Martins classmates and colleagues on platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud. While technology continues to evolve and push the way we communicate, collaborate, and make, it is important that we are equally aware of that same push on our planet. As a new generation consumes and works with technology, how are the arts and design practices responding to the impact they have on the environment?   Continue reading

Being Lecture-Captured: An LCF Pedagogic Research Hub Discussion

image003Lecture capture as technology has been used in the higher education (HE) sector in many forms in recent years and is being evaluated and piloted at London College of Fashion. Already much material has been generated on its potential benefits and uses in making learning accessible and available in flexible formats. 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