Lecture two

Key Ideas in Art & Design: Current debates

  • Writing an essay NOT a report
  • Essay will be influenced by what you want to do for your FMP
  • One of the reasons why students didn’t get A/B is due to not conducting enough research!
  • You will not get a good grade without the research to back up your essay!!
  • People will employ you because they feel that you have the ability to continue to produce professional, consistent work!
  • colindavies@beds.ac.uk
  • Unit information form (available on BREO which colin was discussing to begin with)
  • Contextualisation, what is going on in the world?
  • Who is your audience for your chosen topic?

Debates in Practice

  • You need to be well informed about who is currently out there and what they’re doing and the current trends that are being showcased.
  • Create a context in which you can place your emerging practical work.
  • Major Project (This is what is going to influence your grade as there is a substantial weighting on this project)
  • You will get stressed, be prepared!
  • Critical & contextual rationale (the reason why you’re doing something?) Why you are doing this?
  • Why are some labels successful and some aren’t? (contextual substance)
  • What does the label symbolise?
  • Implement research strategies – make a weekly plan? watch films, read books, newspapers, google something.
  • inform the nature and needs of your project; think about your strengths and weaknesses
  • Use the tutorial guidance that is available to you as they are there to help you.
  • history+research+studio projects+visual culture= Idea Generation
  • Look at your past work, what do you enjoy? The quality of the idea is what will earn you the marks.
  • Idea generation is what will make you employable because you’re aware of what is going on around you
  • Be a thinking practitioner


  • This term you’re looking for ideas to contextualise your essay (REPORT IS NOT AN OPTION)
  • Use research to develop your work as this is what you’ll do in industry
  • DJ Spooky video again (as was shown in 2nd year)
  • Visual culture: always think of a collage
  • Software is a tool that you use, be unique in the way you work with the software.
  • Start using twitter again
  • Colin advises that you watch that video over and over as it is essentially aimed at you as a creative person.
  • Look at history; how is that important? What has changed?
  • Max Hattler video 2009: the use of sound; include this into your work.
  • Video was based on flags of the world.
  • Linder Sterling (again as was used in 2nd year)
  • Watch the video again as she talks about methods of working and moving forward and also how her work changed.
  • All about having a framework for your work

Space to Experiment

  • This could be in your home, on your phone, in the studio, outside, look beyond your usual thinking/ initial ideas.
  • Nendo: Japan (another video shown in the lecture)
  • Smash (material to look into as its very durable)
  • Nendo means free formed clay
  • “Its about the story behind the object”
  • Storytelling is a great metaphor for the way to describe our work, as essentially that is what we’re doing when we work on projects.


Its in two parts, 70% is around the essay & 30% is on the journal.

Essay has to be written in an informed, scholarly way.


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