Since 2007, I have had the pleasure of educating over 700 art/design students in a small studio class environment (never more than 20 in a class). Given such an intimate setting it has been an absolute necessity to connect with my students in order to motivate them to maximize comprehension of the material as the flow of the class depends on it.
In order to achieve this connection, it is my strong belief to expose students to hands on exercises in a safe and comfortable, collaborative learning environment. The complexities of teaching programming languages mixed with the intricacies of also infusing design and art theory can lead to confusion or an overwhelmed student.
Students need to research, collaborate, explore and appropriately process the information in and outside of the classroom. My pedagogical approach creates a balance between conceptual learning and the execution of their tasks. Students establish a solid understanding of problem solving, critical thinking and should develop conceptual solutions while implementing the gathered knowledge into their design and art practices. Although formal testing does have its place within education, my years of experience have taught me that success and especially failure can be an invaluable learning experience necessary to succeed and expand one’s ability within the field. Students utilizing technology, especially code, in design and art are always working at the cutting edge of the field in which trial and error are common occurrences.
Furthermore, I am a firm believer in exposing students to the very latest software, hardware (open source as well as proprietary, even beta versions) and trends. Pairing software with hardware are very important components to visualize virtual results. As an active researcher my involvement in the art and research community as well as the professional community and my 25 years experience in the field, make me well equipped to introduce the students to a unique field through the eyes of a seasoned educator, artist, designer and professional.
Students in my courses should:
• Acquire the necessary skills for their desired field
• Become critical thinkers
• Learn and accept the value of research about the subject at hand including historical aspects
• Implement failure procedures as part of their learning
• Develop linear troubleshooting techniques
• Utilize interdisciplinary strategies
• Work within a collabroative class environment
• Aspire to become lifelong learners
• Foster a sustainable commercial/artistic practice
Keeping students involved, engaged and motivated in the age of digital distractions is only possible by showing students that their work can lead to a sustainable and successful line of inquiry and practice. I am honored to contribute to the education of the future minds of artists and designers and strongly believe that my long time experience can contribute to the mental growth of my students leading them to become a strong contributor in their chosen field.