Special thanks to Nathan Cooke for taking such great pictures of the workshop!
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of providing an introduction to collage and mixed media processes to the D-Lab first year students at MIT. The 24 or so students were all a part of a newly designed “Discovery” course aimed at introducing students to critical concepts around creativity that would set them up for success in course work down the line. As the D-Lab Discovery course description puts it,
We want to respond to the needs of these under-served communities with your creativity and ingenuity. In this seminar, we will explore and enhance your creative potential, and harness it to address problems in international development.
I was a little worried going into the class. First, these are bright kids. You can’t bullshit your way through a discussion. Second, D-Lab has great faculty; at the end of the day I’m just a Joe with some experiences and ideas about art. And finally, I didn’t have much time to prepare – I was invited to plan the course exactly one week before. That’s the MIT spirit – problem solve!
Anyway, with the help of one of the course assistants we were able to hone in on a basic direction and flow of the class. The aims were three-fold:
- Introduce students to concepts of art and social action – what is the role for creative people in social change?
- Provide an overview of collage and mixed media in contemporary art and tie it to my own work.
- Facilitate a learning exercise through which students can learn some basic technique and design concepts.