Pop Up Digital Maker Space
The main objective of the project is to develop staff and student inter-disciplinary resources of expertise, which could provide a model of support for emergent digital practice through a pop up style MakerSpace and community network. The project targets all programme areas of Camberwell, Chelsea & Wimbledon Colleges of Art (CCW) these include Fine Art, Design, Textiles & Theatre/Screen as well as collaborations with industry & the wider sector.
The community of interest groups are motivated by shared interest of mutual learning and support. The groups collectively work towards specific goals of developing workshops/demos/hacks/showcase or Jam activities and events, which could ‘pop up’ in any location to support learning and teaching.
The rules of Pop Up Digital MakerSpace:
- It's not a service: a voluntary community who come together via informal meet-ups, workshops & events
- Safe/Fail experiments only: not suitable for meeting course deadlines, submissions & assessments
- Contribute: Give something back to the community in some way share resources, tips, help others etc.
- Stay connected: Once your a UAL Digital MakerSpacer your always a UAL Digital MakerSpacer
- Patience/persistence: may need to invest a lot of time into learning
What you get in return:
- Try: new exciting stuff & rethink old stuff
- Learn: about new technologies in the arts
- Share: knowledge & experience together
- Expertise: Be part of new and exciting evolving specialist communities
- Events: take part in brilliant events as a member of the collective
See our community of interest groups:
Over the past few months CCW Digital Learning Teaching & Enhancement have been exploring the following digital technologies (see Pop-Up Digital MakerSpace Highlights):
3D Printing and Digital Fabrication: + Digital modeling, software & 3D-scanning
Physical computing: Interactive, Wearable, Haptic (Sensors, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Bare conductive)
Virtual/Mixed Reality: Augmented Reality, Holography
Digital, Analogue & Upcycling: Recycle old tech into new in the arts
Internet of Things: Artificial Intelligence, Drone, Gaming, Robotics, Ubiquitous Computing, Data Capture, Webmaking
The ‘Pop Up Digital Making Space’ project aims to explore, share and build on our knowledge and experience of emergent digital practice and its relationship to disciplines at CCW.
In collaboration with staff & students across CCW this project will explore emergent digital practice in learning and teaching through two themes ‘Space’ and ‘Exchange’.
Making: Space Do we need to rethink our approach to our learning and teaching spaces?
As new digital technologies and practices emerge how are the different disciplines adapting to shifts in practice? Computer rooms are seen as the norm for providing the screen-based digital learning and teaching experience in colleges. As we move beyond the screen into a more physical and interactive engagement with digital do we need to rethink our approach to our learning and teaching spaces?
Digital: Exchange How can we support inter-disciplinary exchanges between CCW & UALs ‘resources of expertise’ as well as wider engagement with the sector?
The breadth of digital expertise and knowledge required today in supporting digital learning and teaching goes way beyond the capacity of any individual college, course or what you can find online. Over the past few years we have seen the global rise of the maker movement and many students at CCW have said they access these networks and MakerSpace for the inter-disciplinary communities.
These specialist resources of expertise offered by the maker community provide an opportunity to meet in a physical spaces, exchange knowledge, problem solve and learn by doing.
The ‘Pop Up Digital Making Space’ aims to build a community who can work together with shared interest in the development of open workshops, demos, hacks, showcase events, Jam activities and events, which could ‘pop up’ in any location to support learning and teaching.
Project aims and rationale
The main objective of the project would be to develop staff and student inter-disciplinary resources of expertise, which could provide a model of support for emergent digital practice through a pop up style MakerSpace and community network.
The community of interest, network or group would be motivated by shared interest of mutual learning and support and collectively work towards a specific goal of developing workshops/demos/hacks/showcase or Jam activities or events, which could ‘pop up’ in any location to support learning and teaching.
The project would be closely aligned to staff the CCW digital development plan and be mutually beneficial for staff and student development in this area.
As a final outcome of this project we would aim to pilot activities or events at CCW with a specific course as well as open access drop-in style for anyone to join.
If successful the activity or event would be submitted as a proposal for future inclusion in the external events & collaborations.
UPDATED: Newly created community of interest groups at CCW online: this is where external facing group updates and resources will be posted (You can add to these resources by tagging the main headings):
- Digital and Analogue Upcycling: Recycle old tech into new in the arts
- Internet of Things: Artificial Intelligence, Drone, Gaming, Robotics, Ubiquitous Computing
- 3D Printing and Digital Fabrication: + Digital modeling & 3D-scanning etc.
- Physical computing: Interactive tech, Wearable’s, Haptic technology & Projection mapping (Sensors, Arduino, Processing, Max MSP, Raspberry Pi, BBC Micro Bit)
- Virtual Reality: Augmented Reality, Holography
Why is this needed?
CCW has a strong making tradition and has excellent making workshops, resources and specialist technicians. However the current CCW landscape does not accommodate space or support for ‘digital making’ or messy digital making.
The growing digital maker movement highlights a widening gap between formal pedagogic practices (institutional) and the informal emergent practices (Grassroots) within arts learning & teaching.
The number of CCW students engaged in digital making practices is steadily increasing. Many of these students are reliant on the external ‘MakerSpaces’ network and communities to support learning & development, staff skills & attributes, awareness and understanding of emergent digital making practices and culture is the key issue.
Why should your project be funded?
Digital MakerSpaces are increasingly becoming important physical digital making hubs for arts staff, students, graduates, entrepreneurs and startups although there is a lack of awareness of the benefits, relationship and impacts the maker movement has on formal education and sustainable arts practice.
By building our in-house network and skill base we can better communicate how we learn and integrate digital making and emergent technologies in our practice as well as the wider benefits of external collaborations and engagement in sector.
CCW would hugely benefit from a digital making community and the rich variety of expertise, up-skilling, peer support, knowledge sharing, specialist equipment, tools and support it could support.
This project will act as a ‘proof of concept’ for future development within colleges.
How does your project fit with your chosen theme
This project would address all of the themes in some way:
UAL without walls – The project would engage with the maker movement, other HEIs and the sector. It would also aim to produce proposals for public facing events with external partners. Students will have the opportunity to get involved in projects across CCW with other students as well as with sector partners involved in the projects such as the maker community, tech companies/ developers, other HEIs and other institutions.
Learning spaces – Digital making processes would be encouraged and tested in spaces where this type of making is not supported.
Creating communities – the project would be open to all staff and students and the strength of the project would be reliant on the growth of the community and their participation. The group collaborate via actual and virtual meetings and communications.
Creative, curious, critical curricula – By taking the pop up makerspace to a course studio environment we would hope to reflect on how digital making may impact on their curricula in the future.
Professional futures – The project supports awareness of sustainable practice via the engagement with industry skills and attributes and the London open maker network of studios and workshops.
Sustainable practices – Part of the project area of interest may explore the relationships between analogue and digital and recycle/Up-cycle of old tech
Collaborative research – We would hope to create a new area of interest in research and excellence in digital technologies for creative practice. This project would support student development along side staff development therefore proving mutually beneficial learning and research experience.
Key principle 1: Student-Staff collaboration
We will work with CCW courses to identify staff and students interested in the themes of the project. We will form a community of interest group and offer a series of ‘meet-ups’ for staff and students to explore various digital practices.
These could include staff & student exchanges around:
- Students sharing practice
- Staff sharing practice
- Visiting alumni sharing practice
- Horse-trading (skill sharing)
- Open experimentation (offer spaces for collaboration & experimentation)
- Industry specialist visits
- Digital specialist in residence
- Away days/events at MakerSpaces
- Collaboration projects with industry and the sector
- Hack days, Clubs and Jam events
From these exchanges we would hope to establish a core group of digital makers committed to sharing practice, peer networking and collaboration.
Digital Maker in residencies:
We would hope to pilot a digital maker in residence to help bring expert perspectives on real world practice of using digital. We would hope to provide space and essential equipment for a UAL alumni digital expert who would support staff & student collaboration around workshops and activities based on their specialism.
We would also look to support the group in collaborations with industry and the sector e.g. invite the Open Workshop Network as Industry/Artist/Designer in residence.
Key principle 2: Student engagement
The integration and adoption of digital making or emergent digital practices at present is dependent on the course staff to initiate, therefore the student experience can be seen as inconsistent. Whilst CCW Digital LTE is addressing the up-skilling, attributes of staff in digital technologies through the CCW staff development plans there are no such plan for students.
There is no in-house ‘place’ for students to come together around this interest and exchange experience e.g. there are no dedicated digital making spaces, clubs or specialist CCW staff or resources.
This project aims to appeal to all levels of students from FE to PhD level and across all disciplines although could adapt on demand.
We estimate a large student group to be actively engaged and would need to be kept at a manageable 15 to 20 students per session/meet-up. Each meet-up group may include the core participants and introduce new students as we develop and move sites. If we receive a large amount of demand and interest we will larger all day events so students can dip-in and out. We could also test sub groups of students exploring other related interests in different locations and join them up via an online network.
Timeline & Milestones
2015 Nov/Dec - CCW Call for interest. Start to build staff and student groups establish interests of groups
Jan – Staff & student collaboration events in the CCW Digital Projects Space Chelsea A216
Feb – Digital Maker is residence 1 (Alumni) staff & student workshops (pop up development)
March– Digital Maker is residence 2 (Industry/Artist/Designer) staff & student workshops (pop up development)
April – Pilot Digital pop up makerspace in a studio with a course/s and an open access space
May – Test pilot workshop final concepts and submit final proposals with external sector partners
June – Project dissemination across UAL
The project will be documented formally using:
A group on process.arts
Events will be publicised through the UAL events pages
Students will be encouraged to create their own online portals for their communities of interest in their own way and share via their social media channels.
For large events we may request UAL social media student take over of Chelsea College Instagram for example.
We will connect and collaborate with other groups across UAL and beyond including related groups from this funding call and the UAL Communities of practice fund.
Iterative evaluation will be undertaken at each event, feedback and critique of our approach will be fundamental to the development of the group and the community.
Targets: We will review if we have met our targets
Document its impact:
We will include critique sessions within and throughout our development where feedback will be compiled and shared, including lessons learned.
To get involved or find out more please Contact Chris Follows: firstname.lastname@example.org