Today is the last day of CSM degree show.
After a year of study in CSM, the second visit of the degree show really touched me, inspired me in a stronger, deeper way than ever before coming to this art & design institution. There were designers’ products that challenge our traditional perception, rules and values. There are projects that are deeply rooted in the current social structure and the emotions of human being. It was the empathy, the beauty and the craftsmanship that melted my heart in the middle of the show.
This show resonates my experience so far in CSM.
There wasn’t any “professor-reading-textbooks” lessons nor any memory-test exams. But I was challenged by course leader, tutors, clients and classmates to self explore everything in the path. It was a non-linear path filled and leaded by questions. “write it down, write it down.” urged by tutor. There are questions of existing knowledge/theories; questions of unknown; questions for tutors; questions for clients; questions for all kinds of professionals, and most importantly questions of and for myself. These questions lead me to read books eagerly (sometimes physically hungry) and to keep trying trying trying and making decisions. I feel that i changed so much in so many ways. Not only the tactics I picked up from academic studies and professional practices, but also it is the deeply re-examining of myself. I never felt so strongly about my self-awareness and identity.
This makes me think
What education is? and What it should be like?
In 70s, Alvin, in his book Future shock, mentioned that education was first set-up under the background of industrialisation. People were educated in classes, which is the semiotic form of factory (i.e.school bells, uniforms, etc). This mass production of education aims to fullfil the labour demand of factory. Of course there are some variations among disciplines but this broad view from Allan still has values today for re-examining education. Not only Time is changing but also generations and society. The development of digital technology changes many ways we live, including using knowledge. I still remember the warning my primary math teacher gave me, “do not use calculator, it makes you stupid”.However, surprisingly many people use it almost all the time now, but none of us turn into idiots. It is because that We load off this ability/knowledge with the support of technology. I guess this is similar when human beings have got fire and we probably load off ability of eating completely raw meat. Technology continues to make this Loading-off behaviour of knowledge more and more often now, so that memorizing textbooks in education becomes less useful to later jobs than before (i.e. wikipedia, open-source software). Another factor of today’s world is that value of creativity and innovation becomes more and more important to today’s economy and social welfare than the traditional factory-style skills. Creativity and Innovation (should) become new “default” skills after industrialisation. All these new changes and challenges give new opportunities to education.
At the end, I’d like to mention one of the most important element on my wish list for education.
“Education is to find ‘myself’.
A self with identify,
for uncertainty, risk and failure.”