PROJECT TEACHING AND ARES OF FOCUS
The activity of our Workshop is based on the project organization of the teaching and creative process.
We use project methods of teaching in order to develop our students’ intellectual and creative thinking. The project method of teaching helps the students get the maximum amount of knowledge and master all necessary skills within the framework of each topic, learn to think independently and make their own decisions, as well as set up their own system for each creative process.
Design is an activity that deals with discoveries, inventions, development of something new. That’s why many of our theme projects are futurological in their essence and our key view is “We can design our Future if we know the Past”.
The project culture that we use in our activity is the result of the human civilization centuries-long experience. We even define the culture itself as a rational intellectual project activity that opens to the humanity the possibilities of its future development, thus protecting it from degradation and self-destruction.
There is a certain preconception towards the concepts of "rationalism" and "civilization" in terms of artistic culture. This prejudice is based on the stereotypical attitude to art and creative process as something purely spontaneous and unpredictable, emotional and mystical. This stereotype was shaped during the ages of Romanticism and Sentimentalism. We respect this position and admit that it appeared naturally, but we want to show to our students that this attitude towards art that tries to conceal the real mechanisms of the creative process has no future in the end.
By the term “project” we understand an intellectual product of the design process, the fruit of our project activity, both intellectual and practical. But the results of educational project activity shouldn’t necessarily be presented by some visible products like pictures, sculptures, movies, books etc. The result is first of all the artistic development of our students. That’s why we try our best to turn the design process into an exciting activity filled with creative discoveries and leading to the self-opening of each participant. Besides, we treat our joint activities as a highly intellectual and innovative creative process.
Throughout the years of our creative educational activity, we have come to distinguishing several areas of our focus. These areas are entwined in some specific projects, thus shaping the unique character of each of them. But we can name those areas and illustrate them with the help of our projects because there was one main area of focus for each of them.
The main areas of focus
MUSEUM. This area is characterized by an in-depth study of the cultural history, working with signs and symbols, "playing" with word meanings and mystifications, and an attempt to explain the meaning of some cultural monuments.
THINGS AND ENVIRONMENT. This area is connected with the study of material culture, shaping the environment, philosophy and the design of an object. Here we often turn to preindustrial technologies, natural materials and ancient crafts. Humans and the natural and artificial world around them created all by itself.
UTOPIA. PROJECT CULTURE. Here we turn to the history of design methods in different cultures. It’s about the experience of Russian avant-garde shaped during the industrial epoch, but also the experience of Renaissance. And finally, it's about the current trends in contemporary art and culture - conceptual art, architecture, museum, design, and management of cultural monuments.
ARTIST’S BOOK. MEDIA CULTURE. This area deals with the ways of expressing modern culture. We are not interested in mastering media technologies (we are constantly working with them), but inventing new ways and forms of creative narration. That's why we turn to the Book genre while working with computer technologies and model new types of information art objects on its basis. We also pay a lot of attention to new light projecting technologies.
Projects: “Artist’s book. Non-fiction. CHA. 2005”, “Artist’s book. Summer book festival. CHA. 2006”. “ART-ELKA 2007. Magic lantern”.
Projects: “next.tretyakovgallery.ru”, “Robots. Optimistic diselpunk”.
Projects: “Kizhi", “Ecodesign. Palanga”, “Valenki” (Felt boots), “Pictures for the sea. Messages for the wind”, “Stencil”. “Great Museum Game (GMG)”.