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sustaining practice Blog Posts - The Open College of the Arts

To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.


The Open College of the Arts' blog

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sustaining practice

Critical reviews in Interior Design thumb

Critical reviews in Interior Design

Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in some first year student reviews with the Interior Architecture degree course at Westminster University in London. As a tutor it’s really helpful for me to see the work of students at other institutions so that I have an idea of the wider picture of Interior Design education (and student output) in the UK today.

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Tutor News –  Katrina Whitehead thumb

Tutor News – Katrina Whitehead

Some of you will know me as your personal tutor, or you may have spoken to me when I have delivered one of the studio meetings. If you don’t know me, I have been working as a flexible tutor for OCA since 2008 and I have seen many progressive changes over this time, including video tutorials and group meetings, both in person and on-line. It has also been exciting to learn about student achievements including exhibitions, competition wins and of course, graduating with a degree. 

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Introducing our Interior Design External Examiner, Marianna Velissaropoulou thumb

Introducing our Interior Design External Examiner, Marianna Velissaropoulou

With assessment events held regularly three times a year, many of you will be familiar with what happens once you have completed the final assignment of your unit. But you might not know what happens in between the point that OCA staff have assessed your work, and the day that the confirmed result comes to you. Our current external examiner agreed to answer a few questions to throw some light on her role, what she most enjoys about being an external examiner with us at OCA, and whether she has any hints and tips for you as Interior Design students going forward for assessment.

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Artlab23 Collective thumb

Artlab23 Collective

The aim of the Collective is to provide a mutually supportive environment which will continue to provide inspiration and impetus post-OCA study. It is open to all students on the Painting, Drawing, and Fine Art pathways who have recently graduated or expect to complete their final year studies within the next 12 months.

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Student stories: Ange Mullins thumb

Student stories: Ange Mullins

I’m Ange, a Creative Arts student, and I’m within touching distance of the finishing  line after many years of study with OCA. I began in about 2008, although I can’t  now recall exactly when I signed up with what was then a very different OCA. I  joined purely as a means to learn more about ‘art’, a promise validated with a  certificate of completion at the end, along with a vague suggestion to have work  assessed; little did I realise that my journey would culminate with a BA (Hons) Creative Arts Degree. 

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Student work: Creative Arts thumb

Student work: Creative Arts

As a tutor I find the exciting challenge is how students can then be encouraged to combine, apply, and adapt these skills as they start to build and test their own interdisciplinary approach inside the unit supported by the course materials.  Rachael Barns has recently completed 1.2 and her work is an excellent example of how skills can be combined and adapted to produce Creative work

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Department stories: Interior Design thumb

Department stories: Interior Design

The Architecture Room at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has been curated this year by architect Peter Barber. The work on display shows enormous variety in approaches to spatial model making, and underlines the necessity of using this hands-on physical method of design development as a way of experimenting freely and creatively.

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Department stories: Garden Design thumb

Department stories: Garden Design

One of the earlier projects in the first unit involved completing exercises in observational drawing. I recently asked students who had completed Unit 1.1 to send me some of their more recent sketches to see how they have developed their sketching skills. 

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