HE Fair at Sir George Monoux College

I used to dislike doing Open Days or manning a stand at a HE Fair because I had this idea that HE should be about informing, educating and inspiring rather than selling and marketing. However, given the change of climate in the sector and perhaps my accumulating experience, I have grown to enjoy talking to parents and prospective students. I now see this as an opportunity of sharing my pedagogical philosophy and creating a dialogue between me and the parents and students. I have learnt quite a bit from these visitors: about their existing knowledge, expectations, their aspirations.

Today I visited the Sir George Monoux College in London E17 for their HE and Careers Fair. I ran a couple of ‘Imaging the Future Media Landscsape’ workshops with 30 keen learners. At the workshops, these participants were asked to ponder in groups and in visual languages only how print, broadcast and entertainment media have changed over the past 20 years (before they were born), and what they will be like in the future in 20 years time.

My UCA colleague Tess helped me running the 'Imaging Future Media Landscape' workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
My UCA colleague Tess helped me running the ‘Imaging Future Media Landscape’ workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the 'Imaging Future Media Landscape' workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the ‘Imaging Future Media Landscape’ workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the 'Imaging Future Media Landscape' workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the ‘Imaging Future Media Landscape’ workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the 'Imaging Future Media Landscape' workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the ‘Imaging Future Media Landscape’ workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the 'Imaging Future Media Landscape' workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.
Me running the ‘Imaging Future Media Landscape’ workshop at the HE & Careers Fair at the Sir George Monoux College on 23 June 2015.

I have run this workshop many times, and as usual there’s always something special. In addition to the usual answers such asl ‘Google Glasses’ and hologram, one student suggested a smart t-shirt that would allow viewers to experience what they are watching in the movie e.g., heat, touch.

This smart t-shirt idea reminded me of the design for wearable fashion workshop I participated at the TAMK iWEEK 2015 led by Daniel Gilgen and Michel Pistra. At the workshop, we attached some stickers with icons signifying functionalities to our clothing and shoes to design wearable technologies. In the end, collectively, we design a Makey-Makey powered suit for self defence. This suit would make noise whenever the wearer was touched. The noise was classified into three levels against the seriousness of the alert. It was fun.

I’ve also seen a couple drawings that contextualised an argument, rather than just drawing icons. That showed the student’s storyboarding skill.

Caption competition is on.
Caption competition is on.
I'm happy when I have wifi; I'm sad when I don't have wifi.
I’m happy when I have wifi; I’m sad when I don’t have wifi.

I really enjoyed the warm hospitality of the staff and students at Sir George Monoux College. They made my day.

Graduation 2015

Once a year I got a chance of wearing the the University of York‘s academic dress. In grey bonnet and grey gown decorated with red hood with grey lining, today I stood next to my colleagues at the University for the Creative Arts to salute the new graduates. This was my second UCA‘s academic award ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall. It was celebratory and sentimental. A couple of anomalies: a graduate took a selfie with the Chair of the Board of Governors and Pro-Chancellor Robert Taylor on stage; a couple of others gave him a hug instead of shaking his hand.

I can’t wait to congratulate my students in 2017.

Me and Angie Wyman, the course leader for BA (Hons) Hand Emboridery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art at the Royal Festival Hall.
Me and Angie Wyman, the course leader for BA (Hons) Hand Emboridery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art at the Royal Festival Hall.

Lastly, I’d like to share some wise words I heard today from Simon Watney, who was awarded a Honorary Master Degree:

Some years ago, one of my university professors said to us, ‘don’t pretend you like something while you don’t like it; don’t pretend you dislike something while you like it.’ And I’d like to say to you today that, ‘Don’t be afraid of changing your mind, and don’t be afraid of telling people you’ve changed your mind. Life would be scary if everything stays the same. Things are circumstantial, so prepare for the changes.’

Well said, Simon. And many congratulations (to all)!

Me and Angie Wyman, the course leader for BA (Hons) Hand Emboridery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art.
Me and Angie Wyman, the course leader for BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art.
Me and Angie Wyman, the course leader for BA (Hons) Hand Emboridery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art at the Royal Festival Hall.
Me and Angie Wyman, the course leader for BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art at the Royal Festival Hall.

Awayday at the October Gallery London

Had a fruitful Awayday at the October Gallery London. Colleagues from different courses celebrated students achievements and shared our experiences in a friendly and creative environment. Additionally, we got a chance of browsing the exhibition in the gallery. I shared our students engagement with the #YourFry project. Way to go.

School Away Day 2015 October Gallery London
School Away Day 2015 October Gallery London
Exhibition at the October Gallery London
Exhibition at the October Gallery London
Exhibition displayed in the dining room at the October Gallery London
Exhibition displayed in the dining room at the October Gallery London
Exhibition displayed in the dining room at the October Gallery London
Exhibition displayed in the dining room at the October Gallery London
We had afresco dining in the garden of October Gallery London
We had afresco dining in the garden of October Gallery London
Looking up from the garden of the October Gallery London
Looking up from the garden of the October Gallery London
We had afresco dining in the garden of October Gallery London
We had afresco dining in the garden of October Gallery London
Looking up from the garden of the October Gallery London
Looking up from the garden of the October Gallery London

TAMK iWeek 2015

Another fruitful Erasmus visit to TAMK’s Art, Music and Media 8th International Week at the Mediapolis, a week full of music, arts, media and friendship.

I participated in Ben Jankovich’s workshop about “Creating and developing a screen / TV idea” where I developed one 25-word storyline about a MI5 boss who’s unsure about his sexuality and had to decide whom to save in his mission, based on the character of Bathsheba Everdene in Far From the Madding Crowd). I also participated in TRNSLTN led by Laurens van der Meulen and Michel Pitstra developing a “smart suite” that has self-defence function utilising Makey Makey, which was brainstormed at Daniel Gilgen’s workshop on Smart Fashion – Designing for a Soft User Interface.

There were many more interesting workshops such as Yuri Landman’s “Malevich String Plate” (creating music instruments that could also be coffee tables), Graham Cooper’s co_LAB project that crowdsourced assets for an animation on Tampere, and Lode Coen’s ‘vitality & creativity’ workshop treating massage (and bodily movement) as a form of art.

In my presentation on Thursday, I introduced UCA, and a student-centred pedagogy integrating the practice of remixing with theory teaching. I showcased the work my first-year BA Media Communications students did for the #YourFry brief. It was a great platform for sharing experiences. For example, the feedback I received prompted me to consider how to engage students in media studies while everybody can potentially make media these days, and how I should emphasise the legal and economic aspects a bit more (e.g., issues with copyrights while remixing, why doing the #YourFry brief is relevant and important).

The Finnish sauna experience, the fine dining at Tampere’s indoor Market, and the karaoke made the trip as unforgettable as the previous ones. Look forward to TAMK iWeek 2016!

Life of Data

Today, we demystified ‘The Secret Life of a Weather Datum‘, a project funded by the AHRC. This end-of-project event was not only for disseminating our research findings and sharing our experiences (how we collected, processed the data, and how we designed and developed the website), but also for soliciting feedback from the participants. It also featured interesting talks from our research subjects – Joan Arthur from the Old Weather project, and Danny Antrobus from Open Data Sheffield who’s currently working with the local council to realise Air Quality+ Better with Data, and an enlightening and engaging panel discussion featuring Helen Kennedy, Andrew Prescott and Danny Antrobus.

I have been privileged to be part of the project team led by the magnificent Jo Bates – it has been a great intellectual journey exploring weather data power and data networks.

More footage of the day can be found on Twitter #lifeofdata @lifeofdata

Breakout discussion
Breakout discussion

Breakout discussion
Breakout discussion

BVE2015

This year I took BA (Hons) Media and Communications students to ExCel London for the BVE2015 expo. It was a great opportunity for them to observe current trends in the industry, network with media professionals, and getting hands-on experience and training with cutting edge hardware and software.

Most of the talks I attended on Tuesday the 24th of February were on convergent media, which are relevant to what I am teaching this term – ‘Media Convergence’. The tactics that BBC EastEnders used for audience engagement – ‘Who Killed Lucy Beale‘ – had gained much attention and appraisal. It was also indicated that we’ll see many more live broadcast shows (factual, sport, lifestyle etc.) in the future to engage audience at a deeper level embracing social media. It was also suggested that there will also be many more short-form snappy content because the short(er) attention span that audiences have theses days (thanks to social media websites such as YouTube and vimeo). However, does this really mean the death of the long-form? After all, we all indulge ourselves in binge watching from time to time. Guess it’s all to do with what content, what message you want the audience to receive.

I also attended the brilliant talk given by Ben Lunt, titled “When worlds collide: The future of broadcast and digital, and how we tell stories now“.  Instead of understanding the future media landscape from a technological perspective commonly applied, he used the history of cinema to suggest how time will change the way new media languages are developed and embraced by media / broadcast / creative industries. He suggests that the media landscape is stabilising, but still in transition (After all, this is a technological-driven industry and new technologies are constantly being advanced at the moment). Ben proposed that to successfully produce transmedia, our familiarity and fluency with the analogue need to be married with the flexibility and the immediacy of the digital.

We had seen interesting ice sculpturing show, live demo of multi-screen broadcast of live sport events, and lots of fancy new hardware for filming, editing and broadcast.

My students have also blogged about their experience to this massive trade show. Definitely look forward to BVE 2016, the larger than ever London Entertainment Week 2016.

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Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
Live Ice Sculpturing Show
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Would love to have a GoPro camera
Would love to have a GoPro camera
Live demo of how to edit and broadcast li
Live demo of how to edit and broadcast li
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