What does it mean to be digitally literate in the world of Hip Hop?

Dr Dre on stage. Creative Commons copyright https://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo/12076130315/

Dr Dre on stage. Creative Commons copyright https://www.flickr.com/photos/yoyo/12076130315/

University of the Arts London journalism student, James Childs, is exploring some of the ways in which digital technologies have impacted upon, and are influencing, the practices of the Hip Hop community. He is doing so in order to explore what digital literacy means in an holistic sense, what are the different forms of digital literacy that a creative community displays and how might their experience help other artistic communities to understand their own evolving relationships with digital technologies? What does it mean to be digitally literate in the world of Hip Hop?

For his first article James spoke with Fatawu Issah, a Hip Hop enthusiast and fan. Continue reading

How can typography be represented in an alter-modern context?

Altermodern. Lettering. Copyright Anna Nazo, 2014

Altermodern. Lettering. Copyright Anna Nazo, 2014

Anna Nazarova, a final year Central Saint Martins MA Communication Design student, provides a fascinating account of her interwoven creative process, and in particular highlights the imbricated relationship between physical and digital materials that she employs as part of her design practice.

“In my final year project, as part of my cross-disciplinary practice, I work with typography – its role and place today. I am rethinking the visual and conceptual role of future arts and crafts and their digital contexts. My major piece of research asks: How can typography be represented in an alter-modern context? In my work I place typography, languages and technologies at the intersection of art and design, with a reflection of contemporary context through the concept of altermodernity. Continue reading

Architecture Configuration Movement: Surprising the system

The PATH in downtown Toronto

The PATH in downtown Toronto

This article aims to provide an overview of a project named ‘Configure PATH: surprise the system’, developed at the Interaction and Architectural Space workshop at CHI 2014. Written under the fug of jet-lag, and with memories already fading…here goes…

The intent of the two-day CHI workshop was to bring together multi-disciplinary expertise from architecture and human computer interaction to foreground the role of interactive technologies in spatial settings.  The group of five that developed the ‘Configure PATH’ project was led by the Mixed Reality Lab’s Holger Schnadelbach, and the Bartlett’s Tasos Varoudis – co-organisers of the workshop. Along with three other teams, we were asked to create an interactive intervention in a space near to the Toronto Convention Centre, which would then be presented and analysed with all participants. Continue reading

The Face of Code: understanding your tools

 

The Face of Code. copyright Timothy Klofski 2014

FACE of CODE, hand made digital, hand altered file code of layered typefaces. Copyright Timothy Klofski 2014

Central Saint Martins’ MA Communication Design student, Timothy Klofski, is learning how to code as part of his final year project. He is openly documenting and sharing his learning process through a blog (http://timothycodes.myblog.arts.ac.uk), and in this article gives a background to his experimentation with programming in an attempt to explore the boundaries, and barriers, of the visual mind towards code. In doing so, Timothy is developing a deep understanding of the mechanics of the digital world, and expanding his ‘digital literacy.’
Continue reading

The Bigger Picture of Design

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Design practices do not exist in their own little bubbles. They exist in relation to the ‘bigger picture’ of the world we live in. To address the many cultural, social and environmental issues that designers must consider, CSM runs the collaborative ‘Bigger Picture’ project for second year students in the Autumn Term. Design students from Product, Graphics, Ceramics and Architecture work together, and use a blog to work towards a collective understanding of big issues.

In this article, Sarah Kante looks at what the Big Picture is for designers, as well as how blogs might mediate collaboration.

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Online learning: mutuality and desire

 

Copyright Svala Regnars, MA Photojournalism, LCC

Copyright Svala Regnars, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, LCC


I was struck by the comment of Sarah Kante, a recent UAL graduate, who explained, “What really is missing in an online learning environment are the creative physical environments, the people we meet, and of course, the technicians we all rely on so much.” Coincidentally, the previous evening I had read an interview with CSM technical specialist Billy Dickinson who, when asked about his biggest creative inspiration, replied “The students. It’s inspiring to be constantly surrounded by new ideas and be challenged to support them in finding different ways to realise their visions.”  Whilst not wishing to provide a schmaltzy article about an apparent love-in between students and technicians, I do want to highlight how important these reciprocal creative and respectful relationships are, and how vital they are to a successful and socially constructed art and design Higher Education (HE) experience.

Yes, the calibre and commitment of CSM’s technical staff is impressive; they are as good as it gets. But what I want to take for a wander in this post is the concept of mutuality – the active role of the social situation in the spatial context. However, the focus will be the virtual learning environment, i.e. the digital space, so I’m going to shift attention from the emotional creative relationships in the 3D workshop space, and ponder whether the form of social solidarity that Sarah and Billy expressed can be fostered and sustained in an online art and design learning environment. Continue reading

Exploring online learning for art and design

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As we are well aware, digital technologies have impacted massively upon the ways in which students learn, and how they engage with one another and with the University. The learning landscape is morphing, and technologies are playing an instrumental part, e.g. the rapid expansion of online learning provision through MOOCs, the phenomenal use of YouTube as an informal learning platform, Google’s new Helpout offering, and an array of other online initiatives – all available across multiple personal devices.

In this turbulent world where much formal and informal learning is undertaken online, Sarah Kante takes a swift look at MOOCs, e-learning, and ponders: what is a good online learning experience, and how can it be applied to art and design courses?

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Commonplace: student survival guide

Commonplace

Commonplace

University of the Arts London’s (UAL) Siobhan Clay manages the digital platform ‘commonplace’ that has had over a quarter of a million hits. Here she discusses the project.

“When asked to write about commonplace for the Digital Present Blog it seemed like particularly good timing. I was due to give a short presentation to Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon student ambassadors, so this was a good refresher, and it had also been some time since I’d been asked to articulate the project to colleagues and students – so a great opportunity to engage with a potentially new audience who might not know about it and might want to get involved, so here goes… Continue reading

Digital literacy: alternative virtual learning environments

Workflow e-portfolio digital environment

Workflow e-portfolio digital environment

In order to continue the exploration of digital literacy within an art and design HE setting, this post focuses on online distance learning. In particular it mulls over alternative perspectives and seeks fresh ‘ways-in’ that may help to adjust our collective e-Learning spectacles.  As such, it is hoped that a stroll around virtual learning environments (VLEs), and alternative online environments, will prove useful. Desire and virtual communities are the conceptual areas framing this swift adventure. So, one question might be ‘are there valuable insights to be gleaned from alternative virtual spaces that could influence the ways we provide for students online at Central Saint Martins?’ Continue reading