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 Degree Show Two: exploring digital technology

Rolls-of-paper

CSM Degree Show Two saw graduating students from the design subjects exhibit their work to thousands of visitors. Whilst many used digital technologies in the execution of their projects this article concentrates on those who explored technologies from a critical perspective.

Questions relating to the changing techno-cultural landscape, as well as those relating to privacy, identity or addiction were tackled, not to mention digital working environment exploration by MA Innovation Management.

Sarah Kante takes a look at some of the work exhibited during the Degree Show.

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Digital literacy: design research at Blythe House

Blyhe House research tools studentsWalking amongst Dame Edna Everage’s boxed wigs, Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe costumes, black and white photographs of the V&A estate through the decades, iconic printed posters and one of Hussein Chalyan’s garments – as part of his final collection at Central Saint Martins – is all in a day’s work for the curatorial and Higher Education teams at Blythe House. However, for CSM’s staff and students it was an extraordinary and fascinating adventure.

As explained in an earlier post, the reason for the MA Design first year cohort to be amongst so many boxes and costumes and objects, is the experimental project being undertaken at the V&A museum’s archive. This article will provide a brief summary of how the group have been invited to foreground their research tools and processes as part of the study. Continue reading

Degree Show One – part 2

Soraya Fatha, Theatre of the Lens desktop

Soraya Fatha, Theatre of the Lens desktop

In Degree Show One – part 1, Sarah Kante looked at the ways in which CSM graduating art students reacted to or questioned the themes of  Time, Social Media and Identities. In this article, she continues to look at Degree Show One, this time through the lens of students who took an interest in the idea of Environments and Realities – virtual, physical, fragmented… Continue reading

Degree Show One – part 1

Capsule by Kristina Pulejkova

Capsule by Kristina Pulejkova

Degree Show One at Central Saint Martins took place in May 2014, with an array of remarkable pieces on display from the Art Programme. Sarah Kante takes a look at some work of students who questioned digital technologies and our digitally mediated lives. From the subject of time, to a sense of fragmented realities, via social media and identities and environments (physical and digital), the scope of this year’s graduating students’ experiments and perspectives raised a lot of questions. This article is the first of two blog posts. Continue reading

Digital literacy: this way for tassels and pompoms!

Photograph at Blythe House, Victoria and Albert Museum 2014

Living in a perpetual upgrade culture, where technological obsolescence is the norm and our personal digital devices have become ubiquitous and mundane artefacts, has huge implications for 21st century art and design archives, and for art and design education. It is with this in mind that students and staff from Central Saint Martins today embarked upon an experimental project set at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which explores designerly relationships with mobile technologies as part of the creative research process. In doing so they are contributing to the ongoing discussion about what digital literacy means in a contemporary art and design setting. Continue reading

The moodle experience

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Moodle, the UAL’s new virtual learning environment (VLE) has been operational for about a year now. Each course has a site, and students can use it to check timetables, download files or access a brief, for example. To introduce a VLE into any institution at a time of rapid socio-technical flux can be problematic, especially with so many competing digital platforms vying for students’ attention, such as Facebook, Google Tools, Twitter, or blogs.

In this article Sarah Kante takes a look at the user experience of Moodle, asks a range of students – the primary audience – how they use it and what they think of it, and tries to understand how this very important educational tool might be improved. Continue reading

Data Jam at Open Data Institute

Restless Futures Data JamThe hottest day of the year so far, the FA Cup Final and the Data Jam event at the Open Data Institute all coincided on 17 May 2014 in London. Enough has been written about Arsenal’s victory, so this post concentrates on the creative exploration of open data.

As part of Central Saint Martins’ Restless Futures programme, UAL’s Charlotte Webb organised a workshop with the ODI, for curious students and staff to collaboratively and creatively engage with the possibilities of open data. Continue reading

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