Yes, four months on how is The New Independent Design School called Old School going? More importantly, what developments have taken place?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Old School is as much as social project as an educational one. Why? Because to me, the two are closely intertwined. Someone said that it reminds me of Heidi when all of the artists used to go and visit the Reids. A real creative hub that nurtured and inspired many great artists such as Sydney Nolan. I love the way that everyone who contacts us is SO FIRED UP. I want to maintain this, especially via our bookmaking culture/short course. As more designers create design artifact via our courses, we will have exhibitions, and also an online shop of Old School Artist Books as part of the Old School experience.
One of the very interesting things that has emerged is the number of people who wish to develop collaborative partnerships with Old School. My experience has helped me to see the potential in these practitioners, and create fruitful collaborations that help everyone. It is important that everyone gains from collaborations, and I am conscious of exploiting the goodwill of others.
I have spent the last three works working with my old friend Amadis Lacheta who is an integral part of Village Well. We are developing a 10 week design residency project for 5 lucky designers to work on a social design project. Writing up the document that explains the project, and the application form has been akin to giving birth. The project will be community based, and it will also be documented via a blog so that other changemakers can gain from the experience. The findings will enable Village Well to build on their already considerable knowledge of community based placemaking, and it will help the particpants develop many useful skills. such as
Skills and knowledge of negotiating creative control over your own intellectual property
Skills and knowledge regarding how to copyright and credit your work
Skills in successful project management including learning how to garner timely and appropriate design feedback from the key players.
Strategic skills that help you to navigate clarity out of chaos and make plans that work
Storytelling abilities that are compelling and “sticky”
Valuable, quality testimonials from the right clients andpeers with whom you have collaborated
New professional connections and openings for future project work
New ideas and insights
Integrity; self-awareness and clarity from within
Increased confidence when you learn how to overcome your fears by taking action
Risk taking ability to use failure creatively
An improved ability to shape your own true path and passions
The ability to contribute powerfully to change the world for the better, starting with people within grass roots communities
Skills in gathering resources to get a project off the ground or launch a future business
Methods and tactics to speak and present yourself in a way that is authentic and powerful
A supportive community of peers that will help you reach your full potential for years to come
We are also working hard via Twitter and Facebook to establish and engage an online community. this has actually been great fun, with many people involving themselves in various online projects, ideas and discussions.
We have engaged many of these users via simple but lovely postcard giveways, such as the one pictured.
Thanks to Sukhpal Singh, the site is now optimised so that we are receiving many online enquiries. The students we are attracting seem to be on target, so far they have all demonstrated great passion, curiosity and initiative which as an educator is all you can ask for really. We are staying true to our message that it is really valuable and important for students to develop underpinning knowledge, which really gives you the freedom to experiment because you understand your improvisations.
In the meantime, while I am finding it difficult to continue my own creative practice, I am making it a priority. I am working on a collaborative drawing project with Kat McInnes centred around Meooww (felines). We both love drawing cats, and it is really wonderful for me to have someone to collaborate with who loves just drawing for the sake of it. I am also continuing to work on “the Music of Stones”. I have tried to develop it into an 8 panel fold out, but am going to return to the format of 8 pp A5 zine.