Seminar: Sharing Electives

This was an opportunity to share resources and provoke questions based on each of the seminar group’s electives. As such, I read an interesting piece on technology, shared by Jason, and another about sustainability by Daniel. Below are my reflections on their resources and their responses to my own.

Jason’s Source: ‘The Data Driven World’ by Kenneth Cukier in Franklin, David (ed.), Megatech: Technology in 2050 (Yale, 2017)
Within your specialism what  new strategies can you apply to your current teaching to develop generation z and future students engagement?
My answers:

  • It is more important that I am up to date with political concerns and popular culture
  • I could utilise more examples from social media
  • Continue to use more engaging media during lectures and seminars. I tried survey monkey during a lecture for the first time in 2018. This seemed successful in utilising smart phones, gauging immediate response and collating a ‘voice’ for the students opposed to being ‘passive’.
  • Student feedback is so poor it is difficult to use this data to improve teaching or course outlines
  • Jason recommends trying Blend space – interactive seminar tool – you can see who is accessing it, ask questions, immediate feedback / Also try cahoot.

Question: What positive and negative online strategies would you put in place to support learners with special needs?
My answers:

  • Try to upload material in advance
  • Use YouTube clips with subtitles for those with hearing difficulties and where English is not their first language

Daniel’s Source: Transition to Transformation in Fashion Education for Sustainability by Dilys Williams
Question: Taking the LCF x Kering relationship as a model for knowledge exchange i.e. linking knowledge in use (industry practice) with knowledge in incubation (teaching and learning), how do you think this idea can be further integrated into the way we teach our creative disciplines? 
My answers:

  • This is incredibly hard as a lecturer but I try to make sure every Cultural Studies lecture and Seminar is made clear as to how it will impact students’ future careers (and the relevance of ‘having’ to take my units). For eg. When discussing ‘Offensive Art’ I illustrated the problem with Cultural Appropriation and that the lecture was relevant so students could avoid the criticism and offence caused by Valentino’s ‘Africa’ collection or D&G’s ‘black’ earrings worn on white models in their own designs and future PR.
  • As an aside, Jason and I also discussed the movement of ‘slowing down’ and sustainability at large; the increase in veganism, organic foods and how there is a slow turn to consumers demanding more transparency in general.
    • I wonder if this demand is also demonstrated by the majority of UAL students? If so, their creative practices will impact upon the future of the industries they engage in as their own demands will influence design.
    • Similarly, UAL has a particular relationship with their caterers, at least at CSM where food must be traceable, organic and with multiple options. So, student demand is driving large industrial contracts in Central London.
    • Therefore, the incubator spaces are also driving a change in multiple industry practices and should be seen as a reciprocal relationship.

My elective is Practice as Research. Key questions are: How do we define research and how might an art practice constitute this? I had been struggling with whether or not my work might be conceptually defined as research, in so much as it requires a selection process, revising the subject matter and hopefully poses the viewer to consider key ideas such as celebrity culture, age and gender. I shared the below video of mine with the following question:

My Source:

My Question: What ‘research’ does this work constitute or what questions might it provoke?
Daniels’s Response: I really enjoyed the piece you made. You can see clearly how you have designed a piece of communication (practice) that provoke certain questions. There is strong juxtaposition throughout the piece questioning the representation of femininity through two similar yet different female icons. Both bear an essence of ‘celebrity’ on top of their inherent talent. This point further questions ideas around interpretation and in the context of the video more as an artefact, it illustrates the interpretive potential of how this could be read differently dependant on gender and sexuality. I would be curious to hear more on how you have or could use this particular as an artefact within the classroom with your students.
Jason’s response: 

Jason’s response to my ‘Practice as Research’

While I received Jason’s incredibly supportive and engaged crit-like response (which I have very much missed since not being in the ‘studio as often as I would like’) and Daniel’s too (which made me think how I might push the work further and as part of my teaching), this made me also realise that perhaps the work did not resemble ‘research’ in the way that we traditionally think of it, and that quantifying my future work for REF and examining Practice based PhDs will be hard!