Advanced art & design

Centre for Advanced Practice
Advanced Art & Design Courses Online & In London

City Lit’s Centre for Advanced Practice is where you can find advanced courses from across all subject areas in our School of Visual Arts. In many cases, this means well established courses of a year or longer, with outstanding reputations for preparing students for study at Bachelors or Masters level. Equally, their quality and depth makes them a viable alternative to the conventional Higher Education route, for many learners, into careers as creative practitioners.

To continue to support learners from a range of backgrounds, with diverse requirements, we have several new courses, recently launched – with more appearing soon – that build on our long-standing fine art and contemporary craft provision, and bring traditional practices up to date to ensure learners have the relevant skills for the contemporary creative industries. This is supported through increasing connections with external organisations and practitioners in many courses, for example through real-world project briefs, public exhibitions, or visits from industry professionals.

For Autumn 2021, we are introducing new titles in contemporary media and communications-based creative practices, and new courses running across a range of patterns and modes (weekly, monthly, studio-based, online or blended), to ensure that our advanced provision remains accessible and manageable alongside learners’ existing commitments. Alongside these developments, we are progressively refreshing many of our well-established courses, with an increased emphasis on critical discourse, and contemporary cultural debate, in keeping with the advanced level of study and focus on professionalism that are the common characteristics of all advanced practice courses.

In addition to our expanding range of advanced long courses, a new and growing range of advanced one-day workshops is now available (launched November 2020), aimed at providing knowledge and insight required to support specific aspects of professional practice. These can be taken individually, according to need or interest, or as complementary components of your own, pick-and-mix modular course. In common with our long courses, these will provide you with the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to take your advanced creative practice forward.

Any questions? Contact our visual arts team on visual.arts@citylit.ac.uk or call us on 020 7492 2700, Monday to Friday between 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

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  1. The design brief
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Andrew McCarten
    This workshop provides a forum for exploring and discussing the process (and sometimes challenges) of working with clients over a commercial design brief or commission. While some design briefs are relatively straightforward, and perhaps require a simple rendering of the client's vision, at other times the client can be unsure of what they actually want, and it can be a frustrating, uncertain and time-consuming process for the designer to identify and produce a solution to what is, perhaps, a poorly-defined question. Referring to real-life examples and case-studies, this workshop will take learners through the process of making a pitch, deconstructing a brief to be certain of what the client wants and needs (and whether these are same thing), presenting proposals, and working within time, resource and financial constraints. These are invaluable skills for the design professional that are equally applicable, for the student, to project briefs and coursework.



    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  2. Is meaning inevitable? Intention, action and interpretation
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Lily Markiewicz
    Does every creative act have meaning? Is there a statement – conscious or unconscious – inherent in everything we do as artists? Should we interpret or analyse what we see, what we do, what we’ve done? In this one-day workshop, we will examine a range of specific works, considering the question of whether and how meaning has been embedded (intentionally or otherwise) and can be identified and interpreted. This will, to some degree, touch on how individuals and societies make and ascribe meaning, perhaps as an attempt to process and come to terms with, for example, otherwise seemingly arbitrary events like a natural catastrophe or suffering. We will discuss and workshop these themes in the larger group, draw on examples presented, and the experiences of the members in the group. Other questions that may be considered include: discerning meaning as an attempt to find order in chaos, and whether or what we might lose by attempting to impose meaning, by attempting to explain within the confines of critical analysis, that which may, in fact, be critical to the character or intention of a work of art.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  3. Design thinking: creative problem solving
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrew McCarten
    The term ‘design thinking’ describes an adaptive and reflective approach to problem-solving that is, in many ways, congruent with the kinds of processes that underpin creative practice generally, and is fundamental to the development of many of the systems on which the world’s current production, logistics, communications and supply depend. Although generally considered largely in relation to system design, information and interaction design, and product design, it is a way of thinking through and deconstructing creative and/or technical challenges that is equally valuable as a lens through which to examine creative processes and problems in any discipline. In this professional practice workshop, we examine the 5 classic stages of Design Thinking, and look at how we can use them to refine our thinking processes, apply our insight and focus our imagination, to solve both creative and practical problems.



    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  4. The creative industries
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andrew McCarten
    Creativity is one of the areas in which the UK retains a leading position, globally, and much is made of the importance of the ‘creative economy’, and its value to the country. But what exactly are the co-called ‘creative industries’ we hear so much about? What is the value of ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ to the national and global economy, and does this extend beyond the overtly ‘creative’ pursuits of art, design and entertainment? How is so-called ‘creative thinking’ central to business, industries and services? In many countries around the world, the benefits of approaches to learning that are central pillars of ‘creative education’ are increasingly recognised in terms of their value in developing fully-rounded learners, and citizens. This workshop examines these questions, and considers the value of creative education in the context of a series of disciplines predicated on thinking related to solving problems, and its relevance for all aspects of contemporary life.



    For this workshop, you will need to have access to A3 or A4 plain paper, and a range of coloured marker pens, as well as a notebook.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  5. Exhibiting creativity: alternatives to the white cube
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 22 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chris Hough
    Who decides which artists get to present their work to the public, in what spaces, and according to what criteria? What role does the curator play in the decision-making process and how much influence do they exert over artists and institutions, in making these decisions? How do artists whose work is not ‘current’ (or which perhaps deals with unorthodox or potentially difficult topics) get to show their work? This professional practice workshop is a provocative enquiry and discussion of the role of the gallery in enabling creative expression, and the influence that decisions have on representation, or the imposition of an orthodoxy. How are artists responding to the limitations and impositions of the traditional gallery space–and the authority of the curator or agent–and finding opportunities in public or private spaces, and through technology? How are traditional galleries responding? We examine the ways artists and designers are making their own opportunities, and taking back control, finding innovative and creative ways to put their work before the public on their own terms.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  6. The archive: resource and practice
    Course start date:  Tue 29 Mar 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rolina Elsje Blok
    The archive is an invaluable resource for artists and designers, without some version of which it is virtually impossible to engage in practice in any systematic way. Whether it takes the form of sketchbooks, photographs, found items and clippings, internet bookmarks, or any combination of these and other items, the archive is a tool for organising, examining and reflecting. In this professional practice module, we will look at how to create and access physical and online archives, and how to use them in both research and practice, creating and organising personal archives. Many artists use the archive as a form of art practice: we will examine this, and how it differs from other forms of archiving. We will look at multiple approaches to storing information, organising it for accessibility, and working with the tools and perspectives of the archivist or curator, as appropriate to one’s individual practice.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00
  7. Collaborative creative projects online
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 3 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rolina Elsje Blok
    Recent advances in technology and communications provide creative practitioners and communities with opportunities that, in historical terms, are unique. We have never before had the capacity to react to events and engage with issues that, in some cases for the very same reasons, can no longer be confined, in terms of their impact, to the location in which they occur. Consider, for instance, climate change, Coronavirus, the BLM movement and the global reaction to inequality and injustice. Artists and designers have at their disposal, through these same resources, the capacity to respond to these developments, and to effect change, and with this, inevitably, comes the imperative of social responsibility. This workshop looks at how creative individuals engage with notions of online or distributed models of practice and collaboration, through the production or propagation of ideas, movements, memes or artefacts, with individuals one has possibly never met, or perhaps does not even know. Besides collaboration in making, we consider the potential of social/viral media as a disruptor or organisational tool, (for example in events, happenings, flash-mobs, and organised protests or movements such as Anonymous, Occupy, XR, BLM and others).



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £89.00

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