Category Archives: Network

Abstract “The Phaistos Project — Forty-five Symbols”

I will introduce a cross-cultural, international project that started as a collaboration of six art & design schools in 2012 and is still ongoing: The Phaistos Project — Forty-five Symbols (

The Phaistos Disc, which was discovered in 1908 and is thought to date to around 1700 BC, is a circular piece of fired clay stamped with forty-five distinct symbols. This code is still unresolved. It inspires the participants of The Phaistos Project — Forty-five Symbols to translate current concerns — political, economic, ecological, cultural, or social challenges — into collections of forty-five unique symbols. Design methodologies are used as a mode of inquiry to develop ethnographic visual narratives that are subjective, stimulating, and reflect a critical position.

We believe that studying a time capsule from the past has the power to spark new ways of thinking. Of course, materials and devices have evolved. Today, clay is code, interfaces are fluid (and not discs) and the access to knowledge is ubiquitous through mobile devices. However: Who’s knowledge is it? Who really has access? What are the questions that emerging designers have for humankind today and which narratives are worth being preserved for future generations?

Pascal Glissmann, Parsons The New School for Design

Abstract “Insight into a transcultural project Europe / South Asia”

ABSTRAKT for Cumulus Working Group, Paris 11&13 of April, 2018

Proposal from  Zurich University of the Arts (Andreas Kohli) and Aalto University Helsinki (Martti Raevaara, Minna Suoniemi).

Key words
Art, transculturality, students, network, distance learning

This presentation provides an insight into the process of the two transcultural projects “Accidental Tourist Guide” from autumn 2016 to summer 2017.
The project focused on self-awareness and self-reflection in a transcultural context, discerning differences in aesthetic perception, and understanding differences in intercultural development processes in the fields of education and design, as well as the forms they take.
On a meta level, the project involved the continuous observation of the methods used. The different communication methods and formats — on the one hand, dialogue via “virtual tunnels,” using Skype and other online communication channels, on the other, different kinds of actions in real space — were also observed, documented, and evaluated.

The presentation shows an insight of the strengths and weaknesses of the projects’ settings, strategies, methods, outcomes, and reflections, and thus should also facilitates discussions of further concepts.
The presentation also addresses some of the difficulties of cooperation that can arise when a project is carried out under the same conditions and with equal participation together with different universities from different cultures.

The cooperation partners of  “Accidental Tourist Guide” have been Zurich University of the Arts, Hong Kong Polytechnical University, Aalto University Helsinki, Hong Kong Baptist University. The cooperation took place in Connecting Spaces in Hong Kong, a hub and an exploratory platform for collaborative projects of the Zurich University of the Arts.

The projects are documented in a publication that reflects the students’ original experiences. Additional texts are based on project and action research diaries, on interviews with the project participants, and on questionnaires and chat protocols. The aim is to show different and intimate views of the project, and to provide the opportunity for critical analysis. The publication is accompanied by two internal workbooks from ATG 2016 and 2017 respectively, containing detailed diaries by participating students.
The documentation is also supplemented by numerous videos and is available online:



Abstract “The Network of Higher Schools of Art and Design in France / contribution to the knowledge of design pedagogy in France”

ABSTRAKT for Cumulus Working Group, Paris 11&13 of April, 2018

Proposal from Higher Schools of Art and Design France / ANDEA, network of public schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture

Key words
Design, creators, pedagogies, students, network

Between the network of schools of applied arts and that of art schools, it seems useful to show the diversity, the specificity and the complementarity of our teachings and pedagogies that are part of our French culture.

From the end of the 19th century to today, contemporary art in France has been separated from the applied and industrial arts, the schools of universities, each building an institutionalized niche.

The different networks thus have different stories and pedagogies.  
Netherless, our former students are often together on common projects. Is it not important today to expose these stories so French, different for us, but yet similar in many ways to our foreign collegues?

We would like to present the history and philosophy of our Art schools that have developed original Design options (nearly 20 today on a network of 45 art schools).

Theoretical approach combined with project proposals  
The conference will firstly describe the characteristics of this network, describe its pedagogies (theoretical approach) and secondly present a specific selection of projects from students of art and design schools (feed back of experiences) corresponding to the themes exposed by CUMULUS Paris, around Together.

We will illustrate how our public schools, attentive to individual authors’ journeys,  have opened up to collaborative work in recent years, while maintaining their personal project culture. Most of our graduates’ professional projects are collective, collaborative projects, reinventing digital group and workshop practices. The intuitive, the imaginary and the sensitive bring unique narrative approaches, which combine with projects by inventing new forms in areas such as service design, attention, commitment, sharing, the welcome, the otherness …

The long history of public art schools in France 
The art schools form a network that was developed by the Academy (mid-­‐18th century) in the French regions and simultaneously covered the teaching of the fine arts and vocational education.

The art school as a medium 
The Higher School of Art and Design is a place that gives the means of creation, encourages and initiates experimentation situations, teaches students to analyze works, images and signs, in a critical perspective and in close connection with the world of contemporary creation. Beyond, it is an environment where students can build their activities and as many new forms as new professions in the field of art and design.

Generalist and non-­‐disciplinary, centered on the figures of the artist and the author, the pedagogy operates a circulation between thought and manufactures. It is this pedagogy, with a high rate of supervision, which aims at the development of a critical look and a production, which guarantees the excellence of the trainings.

Design options in art school: a generalist and contemporary approach
Within this network, about fifteen of these schools in the region have taken the design orientation and are called “Higher Schools of Art and Design” (ESAD). Today under the status of public institution, they gather in France, more than 3000 students in design (including 500 degrees in the Master degree). Linked to (COMUE), in relation with local businesses, communities, ESADs play an important role on the national territory, by participating in research with university laboratories, companies, institutions, competitiveness clusters or communities.
Responsibility, commitment and ethics are the cornerstones of the art school design project. Starting from a strong tradition of openness, generalism and hospitality, the design in the schools of the network engages the student in a reflection on our contemporary world. Designers feel responsible, authors, committed to their projects, able to produce new and original social forms.
The schools therefore offer pedagogies that emphasize the notion of interdisciplinarity internally (working with several teachers from different disciplines) and externally (working with engineers / scientists / architects / ergonomists / computer scientists / sociologists …).

Finally, the development of exchanges through internships, stays abroad, projects in partnership with other schools, cultural institutions and companies, especially those in our territories, places our schools at the heart of the sectors and professional networks.

These students generates in France a network of creators who play a key role in the development of innovation in the regions. Nurseries or business incubators for designers pursue this mission of professionalization. Postgraduate degrees make it possible to register personal research in a long time in line with the requirements of higher education. Postgraduate doctorates are set up with the doctoral schools of universities or other schools.

ANDEA working groups on the question of design in Art school. For ANDEA -­‐ Jacqueline Febvre, with the help of Maud Le Garcic, Christian Debize, Barbara Dennys, Claire Peillod, Yann Fabès and many others …