Finding your Design Concept can lead to the Best Design

Hi Students, Often you can be stuck for inspiration and a design concept: you may have the constructive discontent but then reach a point where you are simply not inspired. At this point trying to find a design concept to latch onto can be important. So, what is a design concept: well, simply an abstract idea or element on inspiration that you can follow quite narrowly to focus your design. An abstract concept maybe a shape for example the spiral or ...

Six Comparative Study Questions from Students (with Answers)

I have received some questions about the Comparative Study from visual arts students. I can obviously answer them individually, but it might be more useful to others if I share the questions – and my answers – more publicly, in this blog… 1 What does function and purpose mean? Is it the purpose of the artist or the artwork? The focus of the Comparative Study is the ARTWORK. However, having said that, since the artist makes the artwork there will be overlaps, so ...

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde was recently in the news … But more of this later. To start with, you may be asking, what is formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is the non-UPAC name for methanol, CH2O, the simplest of all aldehydes. At room temperature, it is found as a gas (boiling point -19oC). It does have a dipole moment but due to its low Mr (and hence weak London dispersion forces), it has a low boiling point. It is found in the atmosphere and also in space. Due to ...

For a Global Approach to Philosophy

All philosophies tend towards the same goal: the acquisition of wisdom, be it through transcendental meditation, spiritual contemplation or rational investigation. In a world open to all sorts of false claims, dangerous reinterpretations and approximations of so called ‘new truths’, philosophy, often under attack from malevolent quarters, has never appeared so urgently needed to repair our dented certainties and restore our belief in the power of objective reason and personal self-enlightenment. In his ambitious work Taking Back Philosophy. A Multicultural Manifesto (Columbia ...

AI: Humans Learning to Relate to Learning Machines

It seems that recently, my tech and education reading has been full of information and opinions about AI, Machine Learning and Robots. In this post I present you with a collection of articles exploring how humans learning to relate to learning machines interacts with our world of educating young people. The first is an article from The Conversation, by Stephen Corbett, Head of School of Education & Childhood Studies, University of Portsmouth, No, mobile phones should not be banned in schools, in ...

Bergson and Proust on Time and Memory

In his 1910 doctoral thesis entitled Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, Henri Bergson (1859–1941) argued against the received quantifying method of dividing time into countable units which ignored and simply disposed of its psychological dimension. Instead, he developed a new theory of time, conceived as an essentially subjective experience, introducing the concept of ‘pure duration’ made out of ‘nothing but a succession of qualitative changes, which melt into and permeate one another, without ...

Isomers of Water

A week or so ago I stumbled across an article on the BBC website talking about isomers of water. At first, I thought a mistake had been made and that the article should have used the word 'isotopes'. I was thinking it was something to do with 'heavy water', water that contains the heavier isotope of hydrogen, deuterium. How wrong I was. (There is a lesson here: don't make assumptions!) The article was talking about the nuclei of the hydrogen atoms. We ...

Great Mathematicians 6: Isaac Newton

Newton is such a giant in the history of Maths and Physics that it isn't really possible to do him justice in a short blog post. King's School Grantham: original building Source: Acabashi, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) The basic facts first. Newton was born in Lincolnshire, in eastern England, in 1642. His early family life was unhappy, but he had the fortune to go to a good school - the King's School in Grantham - which gave him an ...

Sustainable Projects and Ideas: Round Up

Below are a series of wonderful examples of the use of sustainable design in its many forms to get students juices flowing in terms of ideas to inspire them: 1) PET lamps weave textile traditions from plastic waste – RECYCLE I love when projects utilising recycling are very creative and artistic as it can really show what can be done (even if some would agree that the circular economy is more important than ad-hoc recycling iniatives). Pleats Please? Photo credit: Petit Pli 2) Origami Inspired ...