Future-facing and culturally powerful, the study of creative technology provides a comprehensive and critical study of computation as expression in interactive, networked, immersive and emergent forms.
Undergraduate study at Plymouth College of Art incorporates a fundamental awareness of the social implications of creative production and cultural ingenuity, and we are proud to apply this ethos to the field of digital technology on this pioneering new arts-based course, launching in September 2023.
Creative Technologies is studio practice-based and requires students to imagine and develop original, dynamic and expressive works of art and design that demonstrate an understanding and fluency in digital software, network architectures, coding, contemporary media practices and theories of communication, systems, art and visual culture. Raising questions like “How can technology transform human behaviour?” and “What impact will digital advancements make upon society and the natural world?’ this course shares a natural synergy with subjects such as fine art, maths, design technology, computer science, software development, interface design and interactive media.
From idea to exhibition, here you will gain the critical skills necessary to lead the development of interactive technologies with a full awareness of the social, cultural, ethical and environmental impact of those technologies in the connected contemporary world. You’ll be supported in developing your ability to use computers experientially, including how to use code to draw and connect virtual and physical worlds whilst exploring the internet as a living, evolving medium and how reciprocally, society influences technologies and their usage. You’ll also get hands-on with a wide range of specialist software and hardware, including HTML editors such as Adobe Dreamweaver, physical sensors, VR incubators and augmented reality tools. Core specialisms include; interaction design, interface design, social media design, interactive web media, mobile application design, web design, responsive and immersive environments, internet art, network-based art, and software art.
Situated within the School of Arts + Media, you will be taught by our award-winning team of highly experienced academic staff, all of whom are active makers and researchers in contemporary art and new media practice. Course content is enriched with an established network of industry contributors and cultural partnerships, such as London’s Tate Exchange and local gallery Karst.
As well as your course peers, you’ll be encouraged to collaborate with students from other specialisms, making full use of the college’s interdisciplinary open-access environment to challenge the status quo of creative technology. Key areas include the Multimedia Lab, Materials Lab, Digital Fabrication Lab and the School of Arts + Media’s StudioLab for Embodied Media — purposely designed to support projects that traverse the dynamic fields of Fine Art, Creative Technologies, and Animation and Games.
You will become fully equipped to plan, code, design, and test new ideas in existing and emerging technologies as they are experienced in the public realm, in the studio and as a form of social enterprise.
Through studying Creative Technologies you’ll learn how digital code, platforms and media exist simultaneously in the studio, lab, and streets. Our cultural partnerships with galleries such as Tate and KARST, mean that studying technology includes the exploration of the digital evolution of traditional materials and methods to understand how the nature of art has been transformed by computational thinking.
In Year Three of full-time study, students are asked to focus their core studio practice on one of the following specialisms:
Meaningfully interpret graphic and digital representations of information sourced from online and offline behaviors, databases and activities. Be inspired by the potential of translating complex, numerical, dispersed, or illegible bodies of information into a computer-based interface that affords new insights as a result of visual transformation. This area of practice will include external collaboration with Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), The Met Office and Rothamsted Research amongst other environmental and big data partnerships.
Responsive + Immersive Environments
Engage with interactive digital technologies designed for large-scale environments, both synthetic and real. Students will imagine and code interfaces that unite physical and digital spaces through socially-engaged software, applications, media platforms and physical objects that explore hybrid and augmented worlds. These immersive environments may be built with existing tools or through the creation of experimental interfaces. From 360-degree surround screens and AR/VR headsets to mobile technologies and touch-sensing, here you will discover how to manipulate code and algorithms to design original user experiences for a wider range of audiences and sectors. This area of study and practice will be supported by the StudioLab for Embodied Media in partnership with like-minded institutions and projects such as the Plymouth-based Market Hall Digital Hub which has a newly constructed 360-degree immersive dome and Amazon Studios Mixed Reality Group.
Internet + Interactive Art
Upon graduating, you’ll be fully equipped to create, intervene, innovate and speculate on new and emerging technologies in the public realm, in the studio and as a form of social enterprise. As an empowered global citizen you will propose transformative and sustainable future technologies that highlight the value of art and computer science intertwined. This degree can lead to a wide-range of rewarding careers, including; contemporary studio artists, interaction designers, web designers, digital art directors, media curators, immersive media producers and more.
Although many of our students do come in with top grades and high UCAS points, these aren’t necessarily essential for entry. We typically ask for a minimum of 112 UCAS points, but we understand that talented artists, designers and makers can have a wide range of relevant strengths and skills beyond formal qualifications. We’re just as interested in exploring your portfolio and discussing your creative experiences as we are in seeing your grades.
We recognise the value of a variety of qualifications and relevant experience and welcome applications from students who have followed less traditional routes. We also accept a range of international qualifications and will look at each application individually.