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Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

UK students benefit from study abroad.

In Design, Weekly Update on April 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

“Recent estimates suggest 33,000 UK students are studying abroad, while 370,000 foreign students are studying in the UK, an imbalance which defines the UK as primarily a destination for international students (the second most important in the world after the United States) rather than a source of such students. Nevertheless, attention needs to be paid to outward mobility because of concerns that a low rate might hamper UK graduates’ competitiveness in global and European labour markets, while a high rate may signal a ‘brain drain’.”

Jill Ahrens (Sussex Centre for Migration Research; University of Sussex)

A review of international student mobility says that study abroad can significantly boost the chances of  a student’s success in later life and bring benefits to the UK’s knowledge economy:

“More and more, students are starting to understand the added value of mobility. The benefits are that it sets them apart from other students, looks good on their CVs, gives them transferable skills, the opportunity to travel, an international career, and personal development in terms of maturity and confidence (interviewee D, pre-92 university, Wales).”

‘International student mobility literature review’ was commissioned by HEFCE and the British Council, as the UK National Agency for Erasmus, to provide a better understanding of trends in the mobility of UK students and to compare them with those in other countries. The study considered the reasons behind students’ decision to study abroad and employers’ attitudes towards those who have studied abroad.

The report distinguishes between those who study abroad as part of a course at a UK higher education institution and those who study an entire degree course outside the UK.

Findings in the report include:

  • Increasing numbers of UK students have studied abroad in the past few years. This partly results from greater numbers taking part in Erasmus, an EU-funded scheme in which students can spend time in Europe as part of their study at a UK higher education institution. The introduction of work placements in the Erasmus scheme has contributed to this rise.
  • The UK is primarily a host country for foreign students. Around 370,000 students from outside the UK come here to study; there are less than a tenth of that number of UK students currently studying abroad.
  • UK universities could do more to provide clear and accurate information to prospective students about studying abroad. This could include highlighting the support they offer, and the benefits study abroad can bring, such as employment outcomes.

Heather Fry, HEFCE Director for Education and Participation, said:

‘This report highlights the benefits that UK students can gain from studying abroad. We should be doing more as a nation to publicise and support this. Students are missing out on opportunities, not least to improve their competitiveness in the international graduate labour market.’

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said:

‘This report shows how UK students can gain by spending time abroad as part of their university experience. Whether it’s an internship at a company based overseas, or a study period at a foreign university, students gain valuable skills which will benefit them throughout their personal and professional lives.

‘Outward mobility is particularly valuable when it forms an integral and accredited part of the student’s course. I am grateful to authors of this report for offering some useful suggestions for universities about how to increase student mobility, and also for highlighting some key areas for future research.’

Martin Davidson, Chief Executive British Council, said:

“The market for skills and talents is global, and more opportunities need to be provided for young people in the UK to gain international experience through work and study placements in other countries. Not only does this build cultural fluency, the ability to work in differing environments, but more importantly it will allow the UK to develop a workforce that can drive forward our knowledge economy.”

Regarding policy and practice, several questions beg to be answered:

The first is the balance between promoting inward as opposed to outward mobility. Most discussion focuses on the former, for its revenue-generating benefits to UK HEIs and to the wider economy. However, there is a growing appreciation of the importance of outward mobility, in recognition of the fact that UK-origin graduates with foreign experience bring greater human capital to the knowledge economy. Based on survey and interview data from various reports, as well as our own interviews conducted for this report, we identify a range of good practices HEIs can implement to foster greater outward mobility. These include: the promotion of mobility options at admissions Open Days, greater provision of clear and accurate information, greater staff mobility (since this has synergies with student mobility), highlighting the financial benefits and support available, publicising good employment outcomes from alumni and employers’ testimonials, ensuring clarity of credit transfer systems,

and using returning students as mobility ambassadors to prospective mobile students by involving them in promotional events, particularly for work placements as these are a growth area. For degree mobility, HEIs can do little except promote foreign universities as destinations for postgraduate study.

“Why, then, do students choose to study abroad? For credit-mobility students, a simple, facile answer is that they do so because it is a mandatory part of their degree programme; for others it might be an optional element in their degree. This, however, merely redirects the question to an earlier stage of the decision-making: why did they choose that degree course, with its in-built mobility opportunities? For the Erasmus programme, the ‘EU discourse’ promotes two main benefits and therefore motivations to students: acquisition of a foreign language and intercultural awareness; and improved employment prospects. At a macro-scale, too, these motivations have their equivalents: the creation of a multilingual, multiculturally aware European graduate population; and the enhanced competitiveness of European graduates, and of the European economy, in an increasingly competitive global scenario (King 2003: 163-166). These motivations are, indeed, picked up by Erasmus students when they are questioned or interviewed about the reasons for, and evaluations of, their mobility experiences. One the whole, it seems that they are more highly motivated by the general experience of studying or working abroad, than they are by its intrinsic academic merit or even, in some surveys, by its employment pay-offs.”

International student mobility literature review: Final report


The report brings together recent literature and data on student mobility. It looks at the trends in UK international students’ mobility and compares these internationally. It also considers the causal factors for students’ choice to spend time abroad, the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of mobile students, and the impact that time abroad has on their employability; and it highlights policy and practice in HEIs in respect of student mobility.

Read the full report here.

November 2010;International student mobility literature review: Report to HEFCE, and co-funded by the British Council, UK National Agency for Erasmus ” by Russell King (Sussex Centre for Migration Research;University of Sussex), Allan Findlay (Centre for Applied Population Analysis, University of Dundee), Jill Ahrens (Sussex Centre for Migration Research;University of Sussex)


Unit 2B Spatial Strategies: Project Introduction-“Hell in a box”.

In Design, Project Work, Unit 2B, Weekly Update on April 9, 2011 at 12:27 am

Unit 2B SPATIAL STRATEGIES  (Read the Brief here)

To find out more about my new project please click on the link below:


Books on film and architecture…

In Design on March 27, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Here is an outline of some of the books that I am reading now and recommend to anyone wishing to learn more about set design and architecture in film.

( added by Katrina Kocialkowska on: 13 March 2011)

Learning from Hollywood, Architecture in Film by Hans Dieter Schaal

Hollywood is not only the secret world capital of dreams and the fictions of the subconscious, but also the capital of architecture. Hollywood is the Rome and the Versailles of the 20th and 21st centuries. A new awareness of space spanning the entire world was created here. These backgrounds, stage sets and filmic spaces are indelibly fixed in every spectator’s mind. It may be in the cinema that the first time you saw the desert, the Rocky Mountain cliffs, Greenland’s glacier mountains and California’s sandy beaches.  Film’s power to bring people together can scarcely be overestimated. Film architecture is world architecture.

to buy or read more: www.waterstones.com

Ken Adam Designs the Movies: James Bond and Beyond by Ken Adam

This book showcases the drawings of Ken Adam, the man who has created some of the most iconic and memorable sets in the history of film. Presented chronologically, the book takes us from design sketches for his earliest movies, including “Around the World in Eighty Days”, through his Oscar-winning work with Stanley Kubrick, to production designs for what are probably his most celebrated films the first seven “James Bond” movies, including “Dr. No”, “Goldfinger”, “Diamonds are Forever” and “Moonraker”. Also included are production drawings for classics such as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “Goodbye”, “Mr Chips”, “Sleuth” and “The Last Emperor”. Adam’s virtuoso sketches for films and other projects are accompanied by illuminating commentary from the eminent Sir Christopher Frayling, and together present an unrivaled archive of breathtaking and inspirational production design.

to buy or read more about it: www.waterstones.com

Cinematography, theory and practice by Blain Brown

Lavishly produced and illustrated, “Cinematography” covers the entire range of the profession. The book is not just a comprehensive guide to current professional practice; it goes beyond to explain the theory behind the practice, so you understand how the rules came about and when it’s appropriate to break them. In addition, directors will benefit from the book’s focus on the body of knowledge they should share with their Director of Photography.

to buy or read more about it: www.waterstones.com


From Still to Motion by Ball, Carman, Gottshalk, Harrington

Book and accompanying DVD with over six hours of video training–all geared to teach you everything about shooting video with your DSLR With the arrival of high-definition video-enabled DSLR cameras, photographers are faced with an opportunity for creativity and a competitive edge in their field unlike anything they’ve experienced before.  This book explores the entire spectrum of video for DSLR camera owners, with recommendations on gear, planning, lighting, lenses, audio, editing, color correcting, exporting, media management, and more.

* Covers a wide variety of shooting styles, including indoor, outdoor, studio, portrait, event, and available light. * Addresses technical challenges associated with DSLR video, such as camera movement, multiple camera coverage, low-light videography, and synchronized sound.

* Explores additional creative techniques such as stop motion and timelapse photography in depth.


Twelve Categories to Study Film and Architecture Relationship

In Architecture, Design, Film, The Art of Film on March 10, 2011 at 12:18 am

The topic “film and architecture” has ignited discourses from various viewpoints. Some are quite simple such as architect in major role or architecture as background, while others are more critical, probing into the structuring of the film. This article will categorize some of these existing ideas of how a film should be studied in the light of architectural discourse.

Film and architecture has been one of the most discussed topic among those involved in either discipline. There are separate views of how to evaluate the subjects and where are they linked. Though for every film there has to be some architecture in the designing of the background set involved, it is not only the set that becomes the subject of the study. And there is another less critical understanding of film and architecture where an architect is involved as a major or influential character of the story. But mostly it is the ordering of the sequence, dynamics in the arrangement of the storyline, and the spatial organization of the shot divisions where mainly critics find the similarity of the art and structure of architecture in the same of the film. Therefore these films may or may not have any direct relation with architecture either as a set or as a character. “Stalker” or “Nostalghia” by Andrei Tarkovsky or more recent example of “Run Lola Run” is studied in such perspective. However while talking about film and architecture, the movies that are always pointed out as examples can be divided in certain categories. 12 such categories are listed below with some of the examples of films.

Andrei Tarkovsky on the set of Stalker

Read more: http://www.bukisa.com/articles/212833_twelve-categories-to-study-film-and-architecture-relationship#ixzz1FpO1HvfY

1: architect as a major character in film

Examples: 12 Angry Men, Belly of an Architect, Indecent Proposal, The Black cat, and more famously The Fountainhead

Category 2: life of an architect

Example: In which Annie gives it those ones

Category 3: architecture as a metaphor to enhance the theme of the story

Examples: Alphaville, Brazil, Dr. Strangelove, La Jetee, Nostalghia, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Category 4: criticism of architecture/modern urban surrounding

Examples: Mon Oncle, Playtime, Sleeper

Mon Oncle, Jaques Tati

Category 5: experimenting with the structure of the film similar to architecture

Example: Tango, The Man with a Movie Camera, Wavelength

The Man with a Movie Camera

Category 6: Famous architecture/ building used as background set of the film

Example: Blade Runner, Le Mepris, Gatacca

Category 7: imaginary architecture in film

Examples: Aelita, Batman series, Just Imagine, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars

Category 8: Imaginary architecture in Animation

Examples: Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, On your Mark, Dragon Hunter

Category 9: Space architecture in film

Examples: 2001 A Space Odyssey, First Men in the Moon, Outland, Solaris, Total Recall

Category 10: architecture of the future

Examples: Blade Runner, Just Imagine, Metropolis, Minority Report

Blade Runner

Category 11: films that have similar artistic origin in composing space and time

Examples: Buffet Froid, Casanova, Drowning by Numbers, Europa, Memento, Run Lola Run


Category 12: feature length documentary films

Examples: My Architect, Sketches of Frank Gehry