Category Archives: Education

The Rough Diamond – Disrupting Education through Creative Collaboration

This week I attended Learning Without Frontiers, a conference and festival in London’s Kensington Olympia which brings together disruptive thinkers, innovators and practitioners to share knowledge, ideas and experiences about new learning. This year’s event featured star speakers,among many others, Noam Chomsky, Ellen Mac Arthur and of course, King Ken. I went along with  the Ideas Foundation to help launch ‘The Rough Diamond’ –  a collaboration of creative educators who are bringing together their skills, passion, and expertise in order to revitalise creative education, thereby opening doors for young people and providing a model which is sustainable for students, employers, and the economy.

The Rough Diamond is a 6-way partnership between the Ideas Foundation; The School of Communication Arts; Ogilvy Digital Labs; Ravensbourne University; OnedotZero and The Marketing Academy-

                                                                                          

The Ideas Foundation is a charity founded by Ad Man Robin Wight, and is born under the aim of identifying and nurturing young creative talents. They do this by running workshops with 14-19 year olds which gives them the opportunity to work on live briefs with professional mentoring from industry experts.

SCA 2.0 - School of Communication Arts in London

The School of Communication Arts teaches a unique curriculum which has been written by professionals from the communications industry. Their students work as an agency on a series of live briefs on an intensive 12 month course delivered by industry mentors who stand in the shoes of teachers. At the ned of the 12 months, students are sent out on work placements or are eligible to apply for £10,000 worth of funding to start up their own venture through SCA’s Ideapreneur system.

At Ravensbourne University creative students and businesses collaborate in an open plan professional working environment, giving its students real experience based on a programme which is formed through collaboration between educator and business.  

Onedotzero_Cascade has been formed through a collaboration between onedotzero and a multitude of cross discipline organisations and individuals. They offer workshops and activities which foster the skills of young individual to aid personal and professional development to those who aspire to enter the creative and cultural industries.

For those who have been working in the marketing or communications industry for 4-12 years, The Marketing Academy offers 30 scholarships per year on a programme that delivers leadership skills.

Ogilvy Digital Labs is an exciting hub of new technologies based in Ogilvy’s London offices. Not only does it showcase a wealth of innovative emerging technologies for its employees, clients and students, but it also aims teach them how to use it. This way the new tech becomes a realistic tool for use within the schools, colleges and workplaces of a world of fast paced technological advances.

 

 

So how does it work?

 

The relationship has formed under the umbrella of Nicole Yershon at Ogilvy Digital labs, who has bought the organisations together based on their common ethos; to diversify the talent pool entering the creative industries and to engage industry in the education of the young people who aspire to work within it. By collaborating, a diamond shaped route into industry is created- harvesting, nurturing and developing young talent, who when have completed the scheme, are then able to feed back into the system to mentor the next generation of talent. Hence sparkling self sustainable model is born, delivering knowledge skills and expertise to those with a passion to succeed.

 

For more info contact Adah Parris at adahparris@me.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cymatics – Visualising sound, the Patterns of Nature

Following on from my last post ‘Kinetic Typography and Synesthesia in Art and Design’, I’m venturing a little further into the world of sound visualisation by looking at Cymatics – the fascinating and beautiful study of the patterns created by sound vibrations. I first came across Cymatics at the fantastic ‘Shadow Catchers‘ exhibition at the V&A Museum, where (camera-less) photographic artist Susan Derges exhibited her 1985 series “Chladni Figures”- a series of photograms (camera less photographs) produced using a process pioneered by Ernst Chladni, in which photographic emulsion sprinkled with carborundum powder is exposed to sound waves at different frequencies. The vibrations of the frequencies creates intriguing, natural symmetrical patterns which are captured in a still image by the photogram.

Evan Grant‘s brilliant TED talk ‘Making Sound Visible Through Cymatics’  is a concise yet deeply informative insight into Cymatics, discussing both practical uses and artistic qualities. Evan was the organiser of the TEDx Education Revolution which I spoke at in September and I was lucky enough to be coached by him to prepare me for my talk. He’s a really great and guy and his company, Seeper, an Arts and Technology Collective who specialise in interactive design, are always throwing themselves into exciting and adventurous new tasks in order to “capture the essence of experience”. Up to the minute with technology and design, they do some truly “wow” things, it’s well worth checking out what they’re up to.

Visual representations of sound can be seen in other media too, for example, take a look at this slo-mo footage of a water droplet at 100hz-

Or this QI feature showing the effects of putting a corn flower and water mixture in a speaker cone, quite incredible!

So, from beautiful symmetrical patterns, to strange wriggly Morph-like substance, these experiments really go to show that sound can intrigue more than one sense.

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Kinetic Typography and Synesthesia in Art and Design

This week I’ve been working on a typography project for which I have to effectively visualise a phrase to represent how the phrase sounds and also represent its meaning, so in effect, create a multi sensory piece of work.

Kinetic Typography is one way in which designers aim to link sound, linguistics and visual representation, for example this popular music video for Cee Lo Green-

Or this extremely clever and witty representation of Stephen Fry’s beautiful thoughts on language-

But what if you didn’t need to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard to represent how your mind interprets language? Enter, Synesthesia- a rare condition in which senses become muddled and overlap, for example, some Synesthetes may taste words, see music or see tastes as shapes. Researching this condition is fascinatingly insightful and shows how, when linked, our senses are capable of interpreting one thing in a variety of different ways, for example hearing a B flat as a musical note but also seeing it as the colour turquoise. The documentary “Derek Tastes Like Earwax” (below) is a really informative programme that follows the lives of several Synesthetes, whowing what it’s like to live with what can be a life altering condition.

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The artwork of synesthetes is almost like looking into a new way of thinking. I myself feel that I think in a very visually, and just by chatting with my friends it’s obvious that our minds all work differently to interpret the world. The difference with Synesthetes however seems to be that this condition of the mind extends itself into sensory reactions. More evidence is coming forward to suggest that many well known artists are thought to have been Synesthetes including Wassily Kandinsky, Vincent Van Gogh and Joan Mitchell. A more recent example of synesthesia in Art is this video by Michal Levy called ‘Giant Steps’ which shows how as a synesthete she interprets the music of John Coltrane.

The workings of the human mind never fail to fascinate me, and looking into Synesthesia has certainly been inspirational for starting my project. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m off to try and evoke Synesthesic reactions.

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Taking the stage at TEDx London – The Education Revolution

Back in September 2011 I had the incredible opportunity of taking the stage at TEDx London’s Education Revolution– a special event held at the Roundhouse in response to Sir Ken Robinson’s influential TED talks, bringing together those who can help to put Sir Ken’s ideas into action. I spoke about the importance of vocational education as a route to a career (particularly within the creative industries) and drew upon the industry based experiences I’ve had working with the Ideas Foundation. My fellow speakers included Sir Ken Robinson, Jude Kelly, Scott Snibbe, Ken Spours, Geoff Stead, Dougald Hine and Dan Roberts – it was an honour to share the stage with such incredible minds.

You can see my talk here-

Click here to see videos of all talks from the event and here to see the event’s photostream on Flikr. Also, be sure to take a look at Oliver Quinlan’s fantastic live blog of the day here.

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