Creative tea; naming re_fabricate

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It begins…

Two weeks ago we held a ‘Creative tea’ session to get an idea of what people might want to get out of (and name) a new kind of teaching and learning space we are piloting at HCA. Thanks to all who participated and shared their ideas.

Victoria Powell, (Critical Studies Lecturer at Hereford College of Arts) and Sarah (Scholarship Development Manager at Hereford College of Arts) are piloting this new initiative as part of the legacy of the AoC Scholarship Project, which now works towards the launch of a ‘Scholarship Framework’ in April.

The idea of creating an ‘open’ space within college builds on work initially carried out by the HE communities of practice at Hereford, and in Gloucestershire college and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. The first ‘scholarly spaces’ project created and evaluated a network of different types of ‘scholarly space’ on physical, digital and curricular levels.

Based on an initial survey, we defined ‘scholarly’ spaces as those which encouraged dialogue, were non-hierarchical, not overly formal and which had a strong focus on the physical as well as the digital.

When we reflected on the ‘scholarly spaces’ work, we realised that there isn’t currently a non-assessed space at HCA which formally brings creative minds together from across the courses, year groups, staff and external creative community to problem-solve and innovate in transformative ways.

This initiative (formerly under the working title of ‘Porous’, inspired by Sarah’s Virtually Connecting visit to the PorousUni conference, aims to do just that and to provide a space to learn from and inspire each other. This will, in turn, support our creative, critical and reflective practice, as well as our collaboration skills. We’re framing ideas for our sessions within the OU’s ‘innovating pedagogy’ series, and content is being co-created by ideas from within the re_fabricate community. Victoria and I are starting to pull together some initial themes for sessions, and so far it looks like one session will certainly be around Sustainable Futures, one around ideas of collaboration and one about Post-truth society.

We now are super-excited to have over 50 staff, students, members of the external creative community (including alumni) interested in joining the group, with some amazing ideas in the mix; dada-ist live poetry co-created with participants and set to music, anyone?

Because this is a pilot (initially four sessions only) and limited to 30 places available per session, we are accompanying re_fabricate with a Journal of Unfinished Ideas, inspired by the pedagogic pamphlets of Roger Connah.

If you’re interested in hearing more or participating remotely, please visit the re_fabricate blog or get in touch with s.crowson@hca.ac.uk.

The picture of the chalkboard below shows the various names we came up with when thinking of what to name this space.

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