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Alt/Shift UAL
with LBi & Ustwo

While working at the UAL I instigated a platform that brought together educators and practitioners from around the UK to discuss how we might set up a meaningful dialogue between contemporary creative practice and the educational institutions that connect to it. 

In 2012, while working at Camberwell College of Arts, I was asked to be the academic representative on the UAL Learning & Teaching Sub Committee. This provided me with a great opportunity to input into the strategic development of learning and teaching across the University of the Arts, London. As a result, with the support of the former Dean of Learning & Teaching, Professor Shân Wareing, I proposed the development of a research platform that would examine relationships between industry and education. One of our key concerns was how the University might respond to the radical shifts in creative practice that were being brought about by innovations in digital technology. Alt/Shift set out to ‘identify the principles that were driving emerging practice within the creative economy and initiate a debate into how education might more effectively inform and respond’. Our aim was to open up a frank and honest exchange of ideas between education and leading industry practitioners. We hoped that this conversation could support educators in keeping up with the rapid rate of technological, environmental and socio-political change, and that – as well as ensuring continued economic growth – it might have benefits for society as a whole. 


Alt/ShiftUAL was launched through an online discussion space in the run-up to a major conference, where over 140 educators and industry practitioners from across the UK gathered at the headquarters of global digital communications agency LBi to share ideas and discuss the potential of genuine collaboration. A second event took place at ustwo, and focused on ‘Creative education for a digital context’. This event brought together a smaller group of educators and key industry figures to engage in an examination into how educational institutions might better prepare students to take advantage of the opportunities created by new technologies. Insights, thoughts and conclusions were then disseminated into an article published in AD the Magazine of NSEAD (the National Society for Education in Art & Design) and distributed nationally to teachers and lecturers. 

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