Considering ‘university futures’: post one, of many…

Punch: Sky Signs of the Times: 6 Sept 1890.

Punch: Sky-signs of the Times: 6 Sept 1890.

Considering the current radical disruptions, eg economic, socio-technical and environmental, when imagining the future university do we assume a continuity between the past, present and future, or is our present so disturbed or ‘messy’ that we should reframe entirely? What are the set of assumptions that we might use to explore the future university, and what are the core questions for higher education? And, as this blog explores digital literacy, what are the implications for future ‘digital pedagogies’? It is within the realm of the digital that this article is located. Continue reading

CSM MA Interim Show 2014: work in progress

Work In Progress 2014The New Year and new term kicked off with a reminder that CSM final year students are half way there, as four MA courses showed their ‘Work in Progress’ at this year’s interim show. MA Textile Futures, MA Industrial Design, MA Communication Design and MA Narrative Environments exhibited their projects at the end of CSM’s Street – to gain insights, feedback and critique from colleagues, students, staff and visitors. Here, second year MA Innovation Management student Rita Fernandez describes the work of some students who are exploring relationships with digital technologies. Continue reading

Visual Literacy – is a picture worth 1000 words?

Exhibit in the Aho Art Gallery, May 31, 2006 Image by New Media Consortium on Flickr (

Exhibit in the Aho Art Gallery, May 31, 2006
Image by New Media Consortium on Flickr (

Literacy grabs the headlines every now and then, and whilst this is a major political and social issue, the type of literacy we are exploring here is slightly different.

Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of images. This is based on the idea that meaning can be communicated through images, and that they can therefore be read.

In this article, Sarah Kante looks at visual literacy in the digital age. With most of the tools and media we interact with on a day-to-day basis relying heavily on images, are words taking a backstage? Is 21st century communication mainly visual and if so, is this an issue for society at large?

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New technologies that changed our lives

Advertisement for an acoustic telephone system by the Consolidated Telephone Co., Jersey City, NJ 1886,  from "Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly Magazine" Vol. XXI, No. 1, January, 1886, New York: Frank Leslie (Publisher)   Digitised by Centpacrr on August 3, 2013

Advertisement for an acoustic telephone system by the Consolidated Telephone Co., Jersey City, NJ 1886, from “Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly Magazine” Vol. XXI, No. 1, January, 1886, New York: Frank Leslie (Publisher)
Digitised by Centpacrr on August 3, 2013

Technology is a part of our lives, and we seem to take it for granted. But do we, really? Looking at the different stages and revolutions of technology in relation to art and design practice as well as the products and services affecting the way practitioners work, think and live, this article explores the idea of generational identity through technology. Concerned with culture and expectations, technology penetration and the things we overlook and take for granted because of the time we were born, Sarah Kante takes us on a journey from the Gutenberg press to apps. Continue reading

The Digital Economy and Innovation

Barbican visitors play 'Donut Pong', by digital production studio Special Moves and Joe Scarboro - Image: Authors Own

Barbican visitors play ‘Donut Pong’, by digital production studio Special Moves and Joe Scarboro – Image: Authors Own

Digital technologies continue to disrupt what was once the core of many businesses: retail has long been shifting to the virtual marketplace, print media has and is responding to the way information is accessed and consumed, and new tools and technologies are re-shaping the way nearly all products are, and can be, designed and produced. More and more, traditional industries and businesses are learning to understand the importance of digital, and with it, their user and audience. With this realisation, the design profession has received much attention for its ability to identify and translate human factors – more specifically the underlying need and desirability – that then drive the digital experience.

Within this landscape of possibilities, design is poised to sit alongside (not behind) technology and science in the research and development of new products and services. How then is the digital economy shaping the way design is being adopted and championed in the non-creative sectors, and what could CSM graduates bring to this new market place? Continue reading

Blogs and Workflow: behind the screen


Welcome to CLTAD, the UAL Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design. Responsible for the development and support of staff, the centre also develops online tools: at the centre of which is Moodle, the core of the new Virtual Learning Environment.  Whilst you are probably familiar with Moodle, CLTAD also develops and maintains other tools that not only support teaching but also enhance the UAL students’ learning experience.

Sarah Kante had a chat with Mike Kelly, who is responsible for the development and maintenance of the myblog.arts and Workflow platforms. From the development of custom e-learning tools, to implementation and feedback from the users (you!), Mike takes us behind the screen. Continue reading

Communicating fashion in the digital age


Be it apps or websites, a freesheet we pick up on the Tube or an expensive glossy print magazine, we are offered unprecedented opportunities for distraction due to the over-abundance of physical and digital information competing for our attention. There can be no better place to explore this dynamic and multi-platform information landscape than through the world of fashion.

In this article Sarah Kante meets with Central Saint Martins’ BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, and asks: How is fashion communicated creatively in the digital age? What are the present and unfolding relationships between analogue and digital? How are the FCP students approaching both media in their projects?

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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