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AIGA Design Educators Panel on Participatory Art and Design at the Annual CAA Conference in NYC

February 11, 2013 / By AIGA EDUCATOR

Thursday, February 14, 2013
Collaboration, Interaction, Participation: What Does the Rise of Participatory Culture Mean for Art and Design Education and Practice?
CAA (College Arts Association) Conference
Beekman Parlor, 2nd Floor
Hilton, New York

Chairs: Helen Armstrong, Miami University; Lee Vander Kooi, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis | Panelists:  Zvezdana Stojmirovic, Maryland Institute College of Art; Nathan Davis, Montana State University; Richard Elaver, Appalachian State University

Creativity is no longer the sole territory of a separate creative class. Artists and designers now face an activated public. Today’s users approach art and design with a growing expectation that they participate in the generation of content and the shaping of their own experiences. The burgeoning DIY, Open Source and Free Culture movements reflect the growing values for participation, openness, and inclusion.

What does this shift toward participation mean to art and design? What does it mean to the classroom? Are there new competencies that art and design education need to address? Should artists and designers act as expert leaders of this widespread creative impulse or should they stand apart, reinforcing their own credentials? What place do dialogical and relational aesthetic models have in the discussion? If the artist/designer, audience divide breaks down, what new modes of collaboration emerge? How do we prepare students for a climate in which feedback is instantaneous and projects often developed and propagated not just by the artists and designers, but also by the people themselves?

In sum, how will such a fundamental shift toward bottom-up creation affect our society, our disciplines and our classrooms?

Panelist Discussions:

Competencies for Collaboration: Teaching, Learning, and Doing Collaborative and Community-Based Work : Lee Vander Kooi, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Design as Conversation: Helen Armstrong, Miami University

Cocreation vs. Collaboration: Similarities and Differences in Ways of Working Together:  Zvezdana Stojmirovic, Maryland Institute College of Art

Designer as Editor: Creating a Garden from the Jungle of User Generated Content: Nathan Davis, Montana State University

Mass Customization and Product Individualization: Richard Elaver, Appalachian State University

AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.
  • Laura Huaracha

    Went to this amazing panel- it was full of great ideas and inspirational projects for my students. It is fundamental we keep up with the evolving nature of the ever chaning culture of participatory design. Thank you for all those who presented! Some of the examples given:
    A music video project, where people upload shots of themselves:

    A site where people upload shots that must contain a flash, and you move the mouse and the flashes follow the cursor:

    A site where people upload shots of themselves pointing and you move the cursor and it goes to their points: (pretty random, but cool)

    Rich Kids of Instagram- “They have more money than you and this is what they do.” I guess that’s enough said:

    “Finding emotions” on the internet, Every few minutes, the system searches the world’s newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds such a phrase, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.) it them maps the amount of feelings people are having- very cool: