Sunday, 21 December 2014
'TVAD Talks' Research Seminar Series Autumn Term 2014: Polly Palmer 'Out of Study Experiences'
This autumn term has been such a busy one for TVAD that we (I) haven't been able to allow the blog to keep pace with the research activity in the group. But, with the magic of television, or a video camera and the help of colleagues Laith Shewayish, Richard Winter and student proctor Sarah Bennett, we can recall the fascinating talks we have heard again and share them with readers of this blog.
The first TVAD Talk of the year, in October, was Nick Lovegrove speaking about ‘Crisis Communication: A visual history of BP’s use of public relations after the Deepwater Horizon accident’. TVAD researcher Dr Barbara Brownie kindly filmed Nick's talk, and uploaded it to the blog here http://tvad-uh.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/nick-lovegrove-speaks-about-his-project.html
November's TVAD Talk (November 12th 2014) was delivered by Polly Palmer, who lectures for the Interior Architecture and Product Design degrees and has a professional and research interest in developing a pedagogy of museum visiting for design students. Her presentation ‘Out of Study Experiences’ is available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aUb4uEv_cw It began with the observation that engaging students in a diverse culture of arts, technology and architecture, and asking them to consider where within it their work is placed, has become increasingly difficult for tutors and students alike as a result of perceptible changes in the student demographic. The Arts Council (2010) has identified key changes, not only in the youth demographic but also in the definition of high culture and its audience. This may lead us to question not only existing contextual studies teaching strategies and what might be an appropriate repertoire of learning and teaching techniques to encourage participation, but also the basic assumptions of what constitutes culture and the concomitantly appropriate curriculum. This presentation summarises work in progress for an article that aims to communicate the reasons for this success and thereby provide a recipe for continued future benefits for students using this strategy.
Polly examined the benefits of direct, planned, and facilitated engagement with contemporary design and arts culture for art and design students in higher education, using case studies of her work with 3D design students. Her specific focus was on cultural visits, both local and further afield, and how these can advance knowledge, understanding and skills in studio and academic practice alike. Definitions of culture were discussed, from vernacular culture to traditional high culture. The nature of students’ normal participation in cultural activities was explored, and traditional and unorthodox views of the student demographic, including a rejection of all such classifications, were evaluated, as were expected responses current in contextual studies.
Polly's research presents a new model for student cultural participation and ways to encourage engagement. It shows strategies to draw students into reflective analysis of design and the built environment through ‘out-of-study’ experiences; taking cultural participation out of the lecture room and the library and into the street, site and venue.
Watch Polly's talk here: