Progressive pedagogies for innovation among art, science and technology : the case of mastmodule.euPeter Purg
, N. Castillo-Rutz
, Sergi Bermúdez i Badia
, C. Csíkszentmihályi
, Jurij V. Krpan
, F. Hedeer
, D. L. Sousa
, Klemen Širok
, 2022, original scientific article
Abstract: Even if aiming at technical innovation, an interdisciplinary curriculum can and should include social
values. The Master Module in Art, Science and Technology project attempted to do so by developing
the innovation catalyst profile, a graduate who critically reflects on the creation process by combining
art thinking and design thinking. Within a pilot of the MAST module students from three universities
responded to timely challenges such as ‘The Future of Work’ and ‘Solidarity,’ through which the project
staff tested progressive pedagogical solutions like cross-disciplinary mentoring and situated knowledge
sharing. Introducing European social values in both artistic and technical education, the article presents
models, experiments and inspirations discussed against discursive analysis and course evaluation data.
In order to support not only inclusive but also sustainable teaching and learning approaches, novel
methods and tools may become daringly innovative as well as critical of both their pedagogical and
the wider social setting.
Keywords: art thinking, curriculum design, social values, innovation catalyst, design thinking
Published in RUNG: 27.06.2022; Views: 792; Downloads: 25
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Hypnosis or curriculum for a more humanistic space exploration
2020, radio or television broadcast, podcast, interview, press conference
Keywords: planetary art, poetics, humanities, curriculum, universe humanism, transhumanism, cosmism
Published in RUNG: 29.01.2021; Views: 1778; Downloads: 18
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INNOVATION ON ARTISTIC TERMS – DEVELOPING A TOOLBOX TO TEACH AND INSPIRE FOR SOCIAL PROGRESS THROUGH INTERACTIONS OF ART, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGYPeter Purg
, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract
This conference contribution shall discuss a specific process of curriculum development that seeks to teach (across) artistic disciplines for future-oriented innovation, and on artistic terms. On the background of the Social Europe agenda, MAST project is developing such a master module that would offer to all stakeholders in the educational model, including both industrial and social enterprises, an eye-level and deep engagement with one another.
In the case of MAST, the applied function of artistic practice in the currently trendy model of blending Art, Science and Technology for Innovation, is not only critically reflected, but also positively articulated to improve the quality of life and offer sustainable yet still techno-optimistic models for both the industry, and the everyday.
Surpassing the 'Silicon-Valley‘ modelled technical culture that in its deep structures principally opposes the social cohesion in both the national and local, as well as a global sense, MAST promotes a clear European vision as well as academic practice that aims to succeed in integrating the values of social equity and fair labour into the entire chain of technology creation, including its everyday use and education. Studies agree  that Europe is hamstrung by the tension between regressive technological ideology and what this project considers to be essential European social values of its creative media (incl. ICT) practitioners and their communities. If the world is to develop positively, it needs such media and applied arts or design creators that will be able to consider the social costs, as well as implications of humanity, within a design as readily as they can do that with power, efficiency or the ergonomic aspects of a design or prototype!
Thus the MAST module  will attempt to develop an academic profile of an 'innovation catalyst', a graduate who should not only be able and empowered to switch between, but also meaningfully translate different languages that currently hamper the Babylonian collaborative practices in the fields of applied arts, especially when crossing with science. The MAST project thus also develops a toolbox along with a coherent methodology that this new profile will not only liberally browse through – but also be fit to innovate within, develop new, (as if) ad-hoc combinations of artistic and design thinking approaches and custom-made tools, or creative concepts alike.
Mostly in a descriptive way, the present contribution shall discuss the ideological backgrround ranging from euphoric to pessimistic (if not phobic) relationship of the arts (including design) with the ('hard') sciences, and the ('high') technologies. It shall also not circumvent the issues around teaching and learning methodology to be applied in the much hyped cross sector among art, science and (high) technology.
More critically, the discussion shall then delve into the paradox of how progressive Social Europe agenda values can be coded into innovations, as well as how social groups and movements may use media and (high) technology to forward these values promoted by the current progressive political discourse – and against some openly regressive tendencies of the current moment.
In a practice-based yet critically moderated master study curriculum that is currently being piloted, MAST seeks to bring together experts from different fields of science and technology to learn how to understand artists (i.e. their poetical, metaphysical, philosophical and ethical premises) and translate these divergent ideas into possible solutions that may reach all the way from industry-oriented innovative technologies to social innovation.
Along the way of developing efficient solutions to meaningful challenges in the realm of technological innovation, the growing MAST community continues to explore how key choices in art, design, and technology can help or harm a virtuous circle of progressive European social values. Among many other policies, documents, proclamations and practices on both European and national as well as local and non-governmental levels, these values are perhaps best reflected in the current European Pillar of Social Rights  that is about delivering new and more effective work-related rights for citizens, built upon 20 key principles along the chapter of Equal opportunities and access to the labour market; Fair working conditions; as well as Social protection and inclusion.
The contribution will present the interim results of the MAST project that will have arrived half way (2018 – 2020) at the point of the Conference event, attempting at a first holistic assessment of its impacts and potentials. This may be particularly necessary after a full academic cycle will have been finished: it included a challenge to the topic of 'The Future of Work“  as well as a series of six intensive workshops at different locations and institutions across Europe. The creative concepts that were brought to the Nova Gorica, Slovenia 'FUTURE.HUMAN@WORK' event from the November 2018 workshop on 'Progressive Product Prototyping' in Funchal, Portugal were further iterated at the events in Graz ('Algorithmic Spatial Studies'), Austria, and then in Ljubljana, Slovenia ('Work Without Humans'), to be eventually evaluated, jointly reflected and prepared for the next academic year in the Rijeka, Croatia “Interfacing Academy” event due in July 2019.
The underlying assumption so far is that the future of (electronically supported, digitally dominated) work should belong to (or at least be championed by) profiles who are able to think about future independently and freely, in trans-disciplinary manner, inserting and transforming existing solutions and products into new scenarios. These should then be transferred to industry realms, ranging from Cultural and Creative Sectors to high technologies, and not least social services. As an innovation catalyst, the MAST graduate should act as coordinator and integrator in these realms, remaining in positive (if not utterly creative) control over her or his (our common!) digital tools and electronic platforms, both virtual and analogue. This multi-skilled and cross-knowledgeable person competently switches among different professional realms, interconnects and develops new paradigms, finds unconventional, art-thinking based solutions, as well as provides necessary translations among essentially different realms.
Innovation shall be considered in its transformative potential in both social and technical realms, preferably combining both – and yet foremost technological progress is to be applied in the interest of a truly future-oriented, ecologically and culturally balanced  social reform.
Keywords: innovation, art thinking, curriculum, master, interdisciplinary, social
Published in RUNG: 08.10.2020; Views: 2074; Downloads: 0
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Quality Assured Across Borders of Disciplines and Cultures : Two cases on developing open and progressive curricula in the arts (MAP programme, MASTmodule.eu) and a discussion on how to assure their quality.Peter Purg
, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract
Abstract: Abstract (full):
Within the international master study programme of Media Arts and Practices (MAP) the University of Nova Gorica School of Arts is currently developing an interdisciplinary module in Art, Science and Technology (MAST) within a diverse partnership of two further universities and three NGOs. Both curriculum development projects were funded by the European Commission for their progressive, even disruptive character. If MAP (2011-2014), developed within the ADRIART.net project, was to join four countries as well as several artistic and media production fields creating a new partnership model and a contemporary employment profile, MAST (2018-2020) now seeks to root the art-thinking paradigm deep into the innovation process outside university. In order to reinvent better and meaningful futures for the society at large the dominance of the technological and the scientific approach is to be balanced out by the artistic openness and radical difference. This in turn mirrors the structure of the MAST curriculum – not only that its outcomes are unprecedented and tuned onto most progressive priorities of the Europen Union. The syllabus reminds of the innovation process itself, building a new module-specific graduate profile of an “innovation catalyst’.
The abovementioned two cases will be interpreted on the background of ‘The Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area’ (ESG) as the primary setting of their development and implementation, while the ‘internal’ quality aspect shall be prioritized. The discussion will predominantly refer to the design and approval of programmes, but also present some novel solutions in student-centered learning, teaching and assessment. After touching upon a relevant recognition issue, the public impact and meaning of such programmes will be considered more broadly.
As far as the design and approval of programmes (ESG 1.2) are concerned, the Guidelines point out that curricula should be designed „in line with the institutional strategy“ which often proves a paradox – a new academic programme development may instigate radical institutional change from the bottom-up, such that is unlikely to occur through the conventional top-down approach. The MAP project involved four university partners, of which two accredited the master programme fully as such (Croatia and Slovenia) and two participated therein merely with partnership modules. While the Slovenian partner gradually modified its strategic priorities as a (fairly small) art school throughout the project's three years, the bigger Croatian national art academy would let the MAP programme remain insulated from other programmes, preventing the curricular innovations and new teaching and learning methods from spreading to other programmes. This eventually led to inter-institutional conflicts and a closure of the programme in 2018 after three years of its running. Even if all invlved universities „involved students and other stakeholders in the work“ and the MAP programme contained „well-structured placement opportunities“ (ESG 1.2), its sustainability was evaluated low also in the case of the Italian and Austrian partners, since most of the MAP curricular structures eventually proved too open and progressive for their traditional acdemic environments. The Graz Technical University (Austria) returned in the MAST project again to enter a new, more contemporary alliance, founded on their bilateral continuity with the University of Nova Gorica, and their strategic priority of developing interdisiplinary programmes. The latter has in 2014 also established and continues to lead a South-Eastern-Europe wide CEEPUS network of ten art academies named ADRIART.CE (Belgrade, Budapest, Graz, Nova Gorica, Krakow, Rijeka, Split, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skopje, Sofia), three of which presented its core that developed from the MAP partnership (www.ADRIART.net/ce). Besides Nova Gorica and Graz, the MAST partnership involves one further university (Madeira University, Portugal) and three NGOs (the renowned Kapelica Gallery from Slovenia, the Croatian Cultural Allience and the Europe-wide network Culture Action Europe).
The ESG standard 1.3 on student-centred learning, teaching and assessment suggests that the programme delivery should „encourage students to take an active role in creating the learning process, and that the assessment of students reflects this approach.“ The MAP programme manifests this approach in several novums such as the 'Progress Track' module, where students critically peer-reflect on their academic progress along three semesters, or the 'Studio' module that brings into the programme external art (and later in MAST also science and/or technology) practitioners. It also treats contemporary topical issues that relate to the European topics such as e.g. 'The Future of Work' as well as to the profile of the cohort, their course selections and career orientation. A continuous 'Carrier Module' (MAST being one of them, others are Film, Animation, New Media, Photography and Contemporary Art Practice) in the MAP programme supports the student's „flexible learning path“ along three semesters of gradual academic progression: After exploring the chosen realm, and then defining own topical interest and method, the student focuses on her or his area of artistic (or interdisciplinary) investigation, in order to complete the Master Thesis (that includes a theoretical thesis and a practical project) in the fourth semester, all to encourage „a sense of autonomy in the learner, while ensuring adequate guidance and support from the teacher“. In the case of MAST the students shall each year be faced with the semester-long 'Challenge' course that is to keep them deeply involved in a real-life innovation process brought in from NGOs or companies, along with their expert mentors, or evaluators (in assessment committees, programme boards etc).
Both MAP and MAST curriculum development projects focussed importantly on the issue of „fair recognition of higher education qualifications, periods of study and prior learning, including the recognition of non-formal and informal learning“ (ESG 1.4). This was to not only support but also promote mobility of staff and especially students, since both curricular structures instigate international as well as inter-sectoral collaboration: if the academic experience of students and their career prospects is to be advanced, a dynamc flux and interaction of students, (external) mentors and (university) teachers needs to be preserved at both entry and exit points to the programme (or module). Only this way the positive public impact and meaning of such programmes (ESG 1.8) can be kept transparent – not only to be accounted for, but also actively steered towards actual social and economic relevance! Study programmes that matter to all stakeholders – the students, the universities and the employers, including a broader public, need to be kept open for manifold talents and apply progressive interdisciplinary teaching and learning methods, attracting experts and tackling real-life challenges across disciplinary sectors, and national borders.
Keywords: arts, pedagogy, quality assurance, curriculum development, science, technology
Published in RUNG: 11.09.2019; Views: 2822; Downloads: 0
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“LESSONS LEARNED” (PARTIAL TEST DEPLOYMENTS REPORT) : ADRIART PROJECTTomislav Brajnović,
, Peter Purg
, Daniela Brasil
, Alessandro Bordina
, Miljana Babić
, 2014, other monographs and other completed works
Abstract: The report consist of individual test-run reports by participating teachers and consortium-level observers that gathered qualitative and quantitative data through short interviews, surveys and QA questionnaires mostly with students, but also among themselves. A joint evaluation is delivered and a “lessons learned” compendium published, offered digitally through the project’s dissemination system (mostly newsletter and website-promotion), and spread locally through the teaching communities – also partly entering the professional article as “experience report” (see next deliverable). These reports and the “lessons learned” were discussed and confirmed in the below structure at the September 2013 meeting, organised by P4. Notably, a total of three sceintific or porfessional articles were (to be) published (as separate deliverables) refereing to the lessons learned in this project, refering to the summative experience of the project.
Keywords: Curriculum, module, course, study programme, degree, international, comparison, study, national, studio, MA
Published in RUNG: 05.07.2016; Views: 4404; Downloads: 213
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