Small College, Huge Influence
小中見大


ART.ZIP: RCA is often described as ‘design in an art environment, and art in a design environment’. How do you deliver this in daily teaching?

NB: Our course makeup is about 70 per cent design-based and 30 per cent fine art and humanities. Because we place such an emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaboration, our design students mix with our fine art students, reminding our design students that they are enrolled in a school with a long tradition of fine art practice. Dissertations are required at the end of our programmes, so all students have some involvement with the School of Humanities. Our fine art students know that they are working in a school which is design-focused; we have links with Imperial College London, which excels in engineering. We have an Architecture programme, which is unusual in an art school; architecture is often taught in a more traditional university environment. We have architecture, fine art, design, textiles, fashion, all of these coming together and allowing students to study in a really vibrant community, so you have collaboration happening in community ways too.

I think CHS, Critical & Historical Studies, which is part of our humanities programme, is very important to emphasise. This unit reminds students that art and design is not only about creating something, it’s also about considering the situation in which you work. At the doctoral level, many students now are doing increasingly interdisciplinary work across the schools, so fine art with humanities, or fine art with architecture, design with architecture, so that students are gaining some expertise in thinking creatively and developing their ideas across disciplines.

Students don’t only have access to internal specialists. If we haven’t got an in-house expert in a certain discipline, we are able to connect students with experts from other institutions. For example, we work very closely with Imperial College, so if we have students working on something employing science and technology, we’re able to get them the help they need. Again, it’s all about connections.

ART.ZIP: 皇家藝術學院經常被大家描述成“在藝術的環境中做設計,在設計的環境中做藝術”,您可不可以為我們介紹一下在日常教學中是如何體現這樣的理念的呢?

NB: 皇家藝術學院的課程中70%是與設計相關的,30%是與純藝術或人文學科相關的。因為我們非常強調跨學科的合作,我們的藝術類學生和設計類學生都是混在一起的,這也時刻提醒在此就讀的設計學生們,他們是在一個擁有悠久美術實踐傳統的學校就學的。另一方面,課程結束時候學生要提交他們的畢業論文,這樣一來,所有的學生都會與人文學院產生互動,我們的純藝術類學生都很清楚這裡是一個側重於設計的學校;我們與帝國理工學院(Imperial College)有緊密的聯繫,他們擅長工程技術。我們還設有建築學課程,這在一般藝術學校是很少見的,通常建築學專業都是設立在傳統的綜合性大學之中。所以說,我們有建築、美術、設計、紡織、時裝各種專業,而且我們鼓勵學生在各種不同的團體中學習,從而可以和不同的人進行合作。

我還要強調在我們人文學科項目中的批評和歷史研究(CHS,Critical & Historical Studies)也是非常重要的,這部分的內容讓在此學習的學生們認識到藝術和設計並不僅僅是為了創造一些東西,而且也是為了考量你的創作在上下文語境中的位置。在博士研究生階段,現在越來越多的學生在嘗試采用跨學科的研究方向,比如美術和人文學,或者美術和建築,設計與建築,通過這些跨界的合作和開創性的思考方式,學生們獲得了大量的專業知識。

而且學生們不必限於僅在學校內部進行跨學科的實踐,如果我們學校內沒有學生需要的專業人士,我們會從別的研究機構邀請那些學生需要的專家來授課。比如,我們與帝國理工學院的合作非常緊密,所以如果我們的學生在工作中遇到科技類的問題,我們就請帝國理工學院的專家來幫助他們解決難題。所以說,所有這些都是基於各種學科和部門之間的銜接。


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