The aim of NiTRO was simply to provide a platform for creative artists practicing in academia to contribute to informed discussion about issues and activities relating to practice, research and teaching.
The following perspectives of the DDCA Forum held in Melbourne on 24 November 2022 by some of those who attended gives a flavour of the discussions that took place as our focus turned to the achievements – and challenges – to date and the future direction for DDCA.
Recent design studio curriculums in architecture schools reflect a significant shift towards projects focused on socially conscious design and humanitarian challenges … recognising that sustainability is not enough and that the design of built environments must encompass an expanded ethical, political, and social position towards regenerative place-making that responds to a world in crisis.
In 2015, The Australian National University’s School of Art and Design’s Environment Studio launched a unique field-based program, The Balawan Elective, honourably named with guidance and permissions of the First Nations community on Yuin Country, after their culturally significant mountain Balawan … Seven years on, much has come from these cherished relationships.
For some years now, I’ve taught a course called Pop & Trash … It’s always struck me as entirely odd that I teach a course that attempts to critique such constructed cultural hierarchies, and the next day I need to report to my university my ERA outputs based on the same outdated and outmoded cultural hierarchies and notions of impact.
In 2018 I wrote a piece for NiTRO subtitled ‘Are we there yet?’, tracing some of the practical and institutional effects of the Dawkins reforms that folded art schools and other creative teaching programs into universities … Forward (almost) five years, and I am again taking the pulse and trying to read some of the signs.
Professor Barb Bolt is well known here and overseas for her work in creative arts research and particularly the creative PhD. Now that she has stepped away from the university “day job” we took the opportunity to get her perspective of the past and current state of play in tertiary creative arts in this extended Q&A with NiTRO Editor Jenny Wilson.
In 2016 I wrote an article for NiTRO titled “Styling Australia’s New Visual Design Identity”, which sought to explore how to incorporate the amazing features of Indigenous iconography into design without denigrating or disrespecting the original owners and creators.
For those following the intensifying links between the economy, equality, sustainability and democracy deficit (clue: problems in the first three, create problems in the fourth), the absence of culture as a domain of serious policy attention is startling.
With the Federal Government pausing the next Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) round, now is a good time to consider the value, and growing influence, of non-traditional research outputs.
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