The Exchange Blog

News and updates from the Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange at University of the Arts London


Creative mindsets podcast – bias and belonging in the creative arts studio

A new episode of interrogating spaces is released that brings together organisers and student and alumni facilitators of the Creative Mindsets initiative that has been running at UAL since 2017.

Creative Mindsets works to improve attainment by developing growth mindsets to address stereotype threat and bias. It has delivered over 150 workshops with both staff and students in the last two years.

The podcast presents a focused discussion of different aspects and occurrences of bias within the UAL learning environment and beyond. The recording gave space for honest feedback and a chance to discuss real-life experiences on the phenomenon of bias at a range of levels, from the personal to the systemic. Through this, the discussion can inform a way forward for a more empathetic teaching practice that incorporates a sense of belonging within the studio environment.

You can listen to the episode here

Or subscribe via your usual podcast app like itunes or spotify.

Podcast Contributors:

Ernestine Chua:Ernestine is a second year student studying BA Illustration & Visual Media at London College of Communication.

Humiraa Firdaws:Humiraa is a second year student studying BA Illustration & Visual Media at London College of Communication. Instagram:  @whatihadinmind

Vikki Hill: Vikki is Educational Developer: Attainment (Identity and Cultural Experience) and is also a Senior Fellow of the HEA. Vikki is part of the Attainment Team and works with staff and students across UAL to develop inclusive pedagogies and practices to address inequitable outcomes for students with particular focus on psycho-social phenomena such as bias, belonging and compassion. Vikki leads the Creative Mindsets initiative.:

E. Okobi: E is an educator and interdisciplinary artist who works with performance, sound, video and text. She has devised and performed in social practice art staged at museums such as the British and Brooklyn Museums, and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She has developed and facilitated educational programming for New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), and the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. She is also a journalist and writer. 

Joel Simpson:Joel Simpson is an artist whose practice involves walking tours of London, focusing on how histories of colonisation shape the design of urban public spaces. He graduated from BA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts in June 2018. In September 2018, Joel started co-delivering Creative Mindsets workshops, before becoming Project Assistant from July – December 2019. Joel also contributed to the Universities UK/NUS report ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic student attainment at UK universities: #closingthegap’, May 2019.


Many thanks to the technicians and staff within the Sound Design programmes at LCC for helping to make this recording happen.

More information on Creative Mindsets can be found here:

Creative Mindsets is delivered by:

Vikki Hill, Educational Developer (Attainment), is the main contact for information.

Professor Susan Orr, UAL Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement

Narrative of the discussion:

00:00:53 – 00:02:27     Introductions

00:00:53 – 00:02:27     Introductions

00:03:44 – 00:07:22      Implicit Bias and experiencing a white, male curriculum

00:08:14 –  00:17:55     Experience of making work as a student in the context of systemic inequalities and the existence of bias

00:17:56 – 00:35:15      Discussing student work: Negotiating unconscious meanings in making creative work. (Themes: Communication, discussing work, difficult conversations, belonging, crits, students discussing work, students discussing work)

00:35:18 – 00:43:16      Personal experiences of implementing and witnessing de-biasing strategies in action

00:43:28 – 00:47:25     Reflections on the Creative Mindsets programme

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