Are objects the ‘missing link’?

Recently I was talking to my sister about an article I was writing that she kindly had a look at for me, and while trying to come up with a better title for one of the subsections, I found myself wondering whether it could be objects that are the ‘missing link’. I teach study skills and contextual studies to creative practice students at university, and have increasingly come up against students wondering how all this theory (and almost worse: writing) is relevant for them, if all they want to learn is how to design, paint, animate, take photographs, make films, etc. So I have been trying to link creative practice with an academic dimension in the context of Higher Education. A tactile approach came up again and again in both my personal practice and my teaching: experiential learning, object-based learning and making of some sort to work through theoretical issues.
This blog is meant to collect mine and colleagues’ research on this potential of tactile means in academia, particular in the arts, design and media field (though not exclusively so). What I will not do is try to explain why I think the academic dimension is important, I will take that as a given for the purpose of this blog (so be warned).
The categories and tags I could see us using (and this will undoubtedly change as the research progresses) include looking at object-based learning and ways to encounter objects (in Higher Education), highlighting some interesting collections (and their presentation) of both universities and museums, thinking of strategies to create objects that link
creative pursuits to theoretical content, as well as sharing literature and ideas encountered at conferences.
If you want to become involved, please comment or get in touch with me to become a contributor!
Thank you for reading.
Alke

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