Writing in Creative Practice: Practicing Theory in Art & Design Education

On 17th December 2012 the University of Northampton will host a workshop in the Writing in Creative Practice series, which is run in conjunction with Writing PAD and funded by the Higher Education Academy.

Titled Practicing Theory in Art & Design Education, this workshop (Programme Practicing Theory) will explore ways to build and strengthen the relationship between theoretical modules of study and studio-based learning within HE art and design courses.

The scheduled talks and activities will allow participants to share experiences and discuss best practice when it comes to overcoming the perceived separation between the lecture theatre and the studio/workshop.  Methods and approaches will be discussed that attempt to bring together simply a concept of ‘practice’

A downside of the modular nature of HE delivery is that the various taught elements within a programme of study can appear to be ‘stand alone’ with little or no connectivity between other areas of the student learning experience. This separation can be found in the institution that is the undergraduate essay. Whilst formal written assignments that draw together hypothesis, research, analysis, method and execution are excellent ways to investigate and underpin learning, for students they do all too often appear to be a dry and perfunctory task that bears little relation to other areas of study. Within the context of art and design education too often the perception is that the ‘creative stuff’ happens in the studio and workshop, whereas text is just something one is required to do, regardless.

The challenge for HE educators is to breakdown perceived divisions in order to match ‘creative expectation’ within all areas of art and design undergraduate study.  To this end the Writing In Creative Practice: Practicing Theory In Art & Design Education event will bring together colleagues from Northampton and from other institutions to consider ways, through workshop activities, conference papers and discussion, by which theoretical studies and studio practice can be effectively integrated in order to emphasise simply creativity and build a more holistic notion of ‘practice’ for students.

The attendance of this workshop is free of charge to all those interested in the workshop topic, with preference being given to staff working in HE institutions and HE in FE colleges from across the UK. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, but travel expenses will not be covered.

For more information or to book a place, please get in touch with Will Hoon  (will.hoon[at]northampton.ac.uk)

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