NB. For pdf versions of the course outlines please go to the
GLAADH Resources section and then choose Initiatives
Course Materials and scroll down the index.
In the two years of the project the staff team have
revised or introduced new modules at all levels on the BA (Hons)
History of Art, Architecture and Design. This has encompassed 7 modules
to date. At Level 1: Introduction to Architecture and Design History,
Exploring Contexts and Object Analysis. At Level 2: Conceptualising Photography
and Fashioning Gender and Identity. At level 3: Modernism and Post-modernisms
and Meanings and Methods.
In addition, staff have begun to incorporate changes to the
existing MA course in Design History, Curating Contemporary Design (in
partnership with the Design Museum), Film Studies: Emergent Cinemas, and the MA
in Art History. The revised MA modules will be piloted in 2003-4.
At undergraduate level the decision of the teaching team to
integrate issues of cultural diversity and difference across the curriculum has
had a marked effect on the overall BA. In particular,
emphasis was placed on the two new level 1 modules that
introduce students to the resources of their discipline (Exploring
Contexts) and to different methods of approaching objects
(Object Analysis). The aim was to ensure that from the
beginning of the degree students were aware of both a wide range of material
and cultures, and different ways of engaging with them.
Both of these modules were piloted in
semester B of 2002-3. Each consisted of over 50 students. These included
History of Art, Architecture and Design students (HAAD) and those studying
Media and Cultural Studies, English, Drama or Film Studies. Hence, the issues
raised in the modules reached a wide range of students.
Both modules were constructed so that they enabled students
to select their own case studies for the assessment, while the lectures, visits
and seminars introduced all students to issues about display, mediation and
meaning. The student feedback (via anonymous questionnaires
and a final student workshop) was complimentary and positive
(see comments below). In both modules, a number of students chose to select
objects, exhibitions or issues that focused on diversity and cultural
difference (see example of a student essay below).
The two Level 2 modules Contextualising
Photography and Fashioning Gender and Identity were
primarily taken by HAAD students and studio based BA students studying Fine
Art, Graphics, Illustration, or Fashion. Again student questionnaire feedback
was highly appreciative of the teaching and the range of material covered in
each module (see student comments below). Several students chose to focus on
issues of gender, ethnicity and cultural diversity in both modules.
The revised Level 3 module, Modernism and
Post-Modernism, focused on design and architecture in a global
context. It extended the range of material covered to include Spain and raised
issues of regional and national identity and issues of globalisation. Student
work showed a sophisticated understanding of the issues and the student
feedback questionnaires commented on the quality of teaching. Issues of
cultural diversity, transculturalism and the postcolonial were also central to
Meanings and Methods.
What Difference Has it Made?
The GLAADH project at Kingston has made a
substantial difference in a number of ways. It has provided a
timely impetus to focus on changes to the existing curriculum within a
particular time frame. From the experience to date it is clear that
staff and students are enthusiastic about extending the
curriculum and engaging with current issues of identity, place and
gender that encompass areas and aspects of Europe and beyond that are less well
covered. Six academic staff have been involved in the project
and the impact on teaching and learning is evident through student feedback,
particularly at Level One and Two. Current first year students now
expect issues of cultural diversity, difference and globalisation to be a
natural part of their degree. This will have implications for further
developments within the curriculum at Levels 2 and 3.
The building up of visual and reading
resources has also made a difference and will enable further
developments. From the beginning the project involved library staff to help in
sourcing materials. Here the sources cited by GLAADH, together with AMICO, have
The GLAADH project has raised awareness about what
is taught and how, and the historical and cultural frameworks that
have informed the discipline hitherto. This has had an impact on the
development of the recently validated BA (Hons) in Visual and Material Culture
which will be launched in 2003-4. The emphasis will be on developing
understanding and knowledge of cultural diversity and difference through
thematic modules such as City Cultures, The Politics of Craft, and a Special
Subject on Diasporic Spaces.
Alongside these developments two major projects
have been initiated in relation to Curating Contemporary Design.
Building upon the strong Korean community in Kingston, a resource on
Contemporary Korean Design and Visual Culture has been developed (see
below for further details). Supported by Kingston University funding, the
teaching and research resource is available to students on line through the
University Blackboard system. As part of the MA in Curating Contemporary Design
(in partnership with the Design Museum), a conference on Collecting Now
was jointly organised by Kingston University and the British Museum in March
2003. The papers from the conference are currently being prepared for
publication on the web (see below).
Overall, the GLAADH project at Kingston has been an
ambitious one. Pragmatically, the staff team has put in place key questions and
issues, and developed supporting case studies within a relatively short time
span. One of the major challenges has been the sourcing of good quality
images. However, a shift of paradigm has begun that will continue to
develop beyond the scope of this project and will impact on all aspects of our
teaching. The strategic approach taken by Kingston is certainly
transportable. It does not rely upon specialist knowledge, but
on a willingness to re-think existing material, to make connections
outside of usual trajectories, and to foreground issues that have now become
central to the discipline. In most cases, this has involved raising key
questions about how particular subjects have been approached historically and
to offer ways of both critiquing and opening up debates by extending
the material in accordance with individual staff interests. In
Kingston's case this has been possible through the creative use of
existing local resources such as Kingston Museum and the Local History
Research Centre, Dorich House and the Stanley Picker Gallery for the Arts
alongside the rich resources of nearby London (see below for further details).
By taking a team approach, including the involvement of
library staff, the project has been manageable and beneficial to all
Korean Contemporary Design and Visual Culture
This resource explores the rich diversity of Korean
contemporary design. It has two aims, the first to help students and staff
resource information and ideas about Korean visual culture and to use this
information in teaching both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The
second aim of the project is to act as a template for resource information on
other countries and cultures outside of Europe and America. We hope to launch
other resource information sites and we look forward to ideas and
collaborators. This project has been launched on Blackboard at Kingston
University but will be available on the web in the Autumn once copyright
clearance is complete.
This project was compiled and edited by Professor Catherine
McDermott C.McDermott@kingston.ac.uk Eunjoo Maing, MA Curating
Contemporary Design programme run jointly with the Design Museum and Kingston
University. We would like to thank the ETU Unit at Kingston University for
funding the project.
Collecting Now- Published conference
papers on the Kingston University and British Museum websites, Autumn 2003
This conference was a collaboration between The British
Museum and the MA Curating Contemporary Design course of the Faculty of Art,
Design and Music, Kingston University. It considered The British Museum's
mission for collecting the modern and will reflect more broadly on collecting
now, including issues of globalisation, identity and the responsibilities of
museum collectors. The papers are of special interest to students and educators
of design, art and design history, museology and cultural studies lookig to
explore issues in a global context. Papers include keynotes by Frances Carey
and Tanya Harrod:
- Modernity and tradition in the contemporary art of the
Middle East: Leila Shawa and other artists
- Banknotes and Identity in Eastern Europe
- Central Asian felts from Kyrgyzstan
- Images of war in Vietnam
- Collecting for whom?
Further Information Contact:
Dorich House, Kingston University -
Dorich House, tall and narrow in the style of Eastern
European architecture and influenced by the modern architecture of the
Thirties, was built on a double plot of land on Kingston Hill in 1936 by Dora
Gordine and her husband The Hon. Richard Hare. The name "Dorich" is a
conflation of the names Dora and Richard. Designed by its owners it reflected
their devotion to sculpture and art with two studios and a spacious gallery.
The private apartment is on the top floor with a roof terrace.
As Dora Gordine and Richard Hare died without heir, the
executors of their estate entrusted the house and its contents to Kingston
University to provide a permanent home for the sculpture of Dora Gordine and
the Russian art collection of Richard Hare.
Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston
The Stanley Picker Gallery acts as a focus for the cultural
needs of Kingston and is an innovative and exciting centre of contemporary arts
for the pubic. The gallery presents a wide spectrum of work by professional
artists from the UK and abroad and holds concerts and other related public
Built on a small island on the Hogsmill River, the Stanley
Picker Gallery has now celebrated its second full year as Southwest London's
newest purpose built art gallery. The building provides a vast and dramatic
exhibition space with a high balcony which gives views over the whole gallery.
In addition there are three artists' studios in the building, for international
and UK-based Picker Fellows in Fine Art and Design.
Funded by the Stanley Picker Trust, the Gallery acts as a
focus for the cultural needs of the University as well as being an innovative
and exciting centre of contemporary arts for the pubic.
Exhibitions have included Sex and Consumerism, Contemporary
Japanese Art, 14 February - 21 March 2002, contemporary art by leading Japanese
artists, exploring the provocative boundaries between life and art.
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