Critical Creative Digital: shaping the university in a networked era

The UAL Teaching Platform series explores key issues in art and design teaching and learning in higher education.   At Critical Creative Digital, held at Chelsea College of Arts in December 2017, we discussed how the university sector can take advantage of the positive, creative opportunities of digital in a networked era.


David Crow (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon colleges) spoke about Digital Craft, and the evolution of master craftsmen into today’s designer-makers.


The Burnt! activity asked delegates to share experiences, hopes and fears around the digital.   A key theme arising from this session was collaboration, in a number of different forms. 


We heard from David Barnett, Course Leader for BA Graphic Design Communication at Chelsea College of Arts. David is fostering a graphic design community across current students and alumni, and an impressive panel of his students took questions from the audience.

The final panel session included Judith Aston (UWE), Charlotte Webb (UAL Digital Learning Coordinator and Chief Leopard, Feminist Internet) and Frank Owusu (Communication Pathway Leader, CCW Foundation Diploma in Art and Design).  The group interrogated the tensions between network (the Web) and hierarchy (the institution) to explore an ideal creative university for the networked era.


Alongside this exploration we celebrated current practice in the ‘Digital UAL’ (DUAL) expo, bringing together inspiring responses to digital in teaching, learning and making from across the university.

Adam Corrie introduced the London College of Communication Prototyping Lab, a multi-purpose space that supports students in creative code and physical computing.

The UAL Digital Learning Coordinators shared their Digital Fluency Project, whilst Exchange tutors Ruth Powell and Jon Martin gave an overview of the Technology Enhanced Learning Unit on the UAL MA Academic Practice.

Lewis Bush is a Lecturer at London College of Communication and a student on the UAL PgCert Academic Practice, and shared his project entitled The Networked Essay. Kalina Pulit, also a UAL PgCert student, interviewed delegates about their experiences of the digital engagement of Generation Z.

Gareth Foote spoke about the work of the Digital Anthropology Lab at London College of Fashion.  And finally Chris Follows introduced the Digital Maker Collective and the Tate Exchange to the audience.

See the full speaker biographies on the event webpage

See more photos and thoughts from delegates about this event and others in the series on Twitter #UALPlatform

This event is part of a series hosted by University of the Arts London, exploring key issues in art and design teaching and learning in higher education.

Each event includes leading speakers sharing current thinking in creative education and is designed to be interactive: delegates will have opportunities to engage in activities to support networking and engagement.

Platform events are free and open to external guests.  For more information about Teaching and Learning at UAL visit the Exchange website.  To subscribe to our mailing list for more details about these and other events, please email, or follow us on Twitter @UALTLE.