Political activism, a feminist internet, digital making, innovative pedagogies, a creative Dalek… These were just a few of the elements of the Digitally Engaged Learning (DEL) conference 2017.
This year the conference was hosted at Central St Martins on 14-15 September, and opened by our Deputy Vice Chancellor, Simon Oldfield-Kerr, on day one and our PVC Digital, Frances Corner, on day two.
DEL is located at the confluence of digital technology, creative disciplines and teaching and learning practices. Run as an international partnership between UAL (Teaching and Learning Exchange), Texas State University, Penn State and Parsons School of Design, the conference attracted delegates from across the world, representing 37 higher education institutions.
This year’s theme of Teaching Making/Making Teaching fostered both creativity and criticality, as can been seen on the #DEL17 tag in Twitter. Moving beyond ‘digital people’ talking about ‘digital projects’, DEL was a celebration & questioning of teaching & making in which digital is inherent, not ‘special’. This was emphasised in Diana Arce’s opening keynote in which she described the digital within her political activism as a mechanism to bring together and support face-to-face communities.
Diana Arce (image: @otheragent, Twitter) Thomas Castro (image: C de Giglio)
The relationship between the digital and the physical was a recurring theme across the conference, writ large in the the design work of Thomas Castro, our second keynote. His LUSTlab design agency has undertaken many projects which cross the physical/digital divide through a critical, digital, reimagining of traditional formats such as the catalogue, the poster and the book.
In addition to a rich array of workshops and talks we were presented with the Feminist Internet Manifesto created by students involved in the UAL Futures project and invited to engage with new forms of creativity by our very own Digital Maker Collective. Throughout the conference we were also confronted with the DEL Dalek which challenged us to interrogate the digital/physical boundary through making and play.
Dalek (image: @tumble33) Creations from the dalek (image: @otheragent)
Delegates now have the opportunity to submit reflections on their sessions in text, video, image or audio to Spark, our open access journal of creative teaching and learning. You can read the special edition from DEL 2016 here.
Conference dinner 2017 at the Skipgarden, Kings Cross