“NORTHER” FROM AALTO UNIVERSITY (FINLAND) BRINGS A FRESH DESIGN AT THE MILAN FURNITURE FAIR (APRIL 9-14)

Student work from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland will be on display at the Milan Furniture Fair from 9 to 14 April 2013. The name of the exhibition, Norther, refers to a sudden and stabbing north wind – it brings with it fresh design and fashion ideas from young northern designers of the future.

The exhibition contains a representative selection of student work in furniture design, ceramics and glass art, industrial design, textile art, fashion and clothing design. A total of 26 students with different levels of training showcase their work in Milan, some of which have already gained attention at international design events.

The works selected for the exhibition are the best of our degree programmes. They reflect the philosophy of our teaching, which combines an original artistically strong vision with insightful technical implementation” says Professor Jouko Järvisalo from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. “ We are going to Milan with an eye catching, versatile collection which we believe will stand out favourably from the crowd. Our education in design is of a very high standard internationally and domestically. Our graduates are amongst the best designers in the world with strong practical design skills” says the Head of the Department of Design Pirjo Hirvonen.

The exhibition is being curated by Professor Jouko Järvisalo and Lecturer Martin Relander. Aalto University‘s Norther exhibition runs from 9 till 14 April at Via Privata Oslavia 7 in the Ventura Lambrate area. The nearest metro stop is Ventura Lambrate.

Pics: Hanna Anonen, Pala-matto (Piece mat); Group picture, glass and ceramics; Noora Liesmaa, Kiila-penkki (Wedge bench)

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ABOUT AALTO UNIVERSITY, FINLAND

Aalto University, Finland is a new multidisciplinary science and art community in the fields of science, economics, and art and design. The University is founded on Finnish strengths, and its goal is to develop as a unique entity to become one of the world’s top universities.  Aalto University’s cornerstones are its strengths in education and research. At the new University, there are 20,000 basic degree and graduate students as well as a staff of 5,000 of which 350 are professors.

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IMAGES & SCIENCE / THE PROCESSING OF VISUAL SIGNALS IN THE BRAIN: A RESEARCH BY KU LEUVEN AND HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – LACER/ACTIONS 2012 - GRAPHIC LAY OUT FROM THE OFFICIAL POSTER OF "COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE" SHOW

© ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI – LACER/ACTIONS 2012 – GRAPHIC LAY OUT FROM THE OFFICIAL POSTER OF “COLORS OF AN APOCALYPSE” SHOW

I work with images and colors for my “Lacer/actions” project (pics of torn and decomposed publicity posters on billboard spaces). And I read some interesting news at KU Leuven Focus Monthly (see link below for the complete article)…  

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Once rhesus monkeys learn to associate a picture with a reward, the reward by itself becomes enough to alter the activity in the monkeys’ visual cortex. This finding was made by neurophysiologists Wim Vanduffel and John Arsenault (KU Leuven and Harvard Medical School) and American colleagues using functional brain scans and was published recently in the leading journal Neuron.

Our visual perception is not determined solely by retinal activity. Other factors also influence the processing of visual signals in the brain. “Selective attention is one such factor,” says Professor Wim Vanduffel. “The more attention you pay to a stimulus, the better your visual perception is and the more effective your visual cortex is at processing that stimulus. Another factor is the reward value of a stimulus: when a visual signal becomes associated with a reward, it affects our processing of that visual signal. In this study, we wanted to investigate how a reward influences activity in the visual cortex.”

Link to complete article:

http://www.kuleuven.be/english/news/reward-linked-to-image-is-enough-to-activate-brains-visual-cortex

FROM THE BIRTHPLACE OF SHAKESPEARE A NEW INITIATIVE TO REVOLUTIONISE THE WAY THE LEGENDARY PLAYWRIGHT IS TAUGHT

 William Shakespeare

Teachers in Singapore are being supported to change their approach to teaching Shakespeare by adopting techniques used by actors and directors as part of a pioneering new project from the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the University of Warwick that aims to transform classroom experiences of Shakespeare. According to research undertaken by the RSC and the British Council up to 64 million children across the world learn about Shakespeare’s plays, but for some it is not the life enriching experience it could be.

The RSC, based in Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, UK, has teamed up with Warwick Business School, which is part of the University of Warwick, UK, to change that. Together, they have produced a one-stop shop online professional development programme, called Teaching Shakespeare, that holds a treasure trove of materials including over 100 films featuring modelled lessons and interviews, with leading RSC directors and practitioners along with academics from the University of Warwick. This ground-breaking programme provides teachers with the essential skills and knowledge to develop active, drama-based approaches to teaching Shakespeare in their classrooms.

Encouraging students to get up on their feet and actively explore Shakespeare’s plays has already brought the text to life for thousands of youngsters in Britain through the work of the RSC’s Education department. This new online learning platform, created by the RSC and Warwick Business School will be able to reach millions more globally.

Now Warwick Business School Professor Jonothan Neelands is travelling to Singapore to show at first-hand how these teaching methods can not only improve children’s understanding of Shakespeare, but boost their self-confidence and communication skills as well. Professor Neelands will be holding a workshop from Saturday March 16 to March 20 at the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

Our humble ambition is to transform how Shakespeare is taught across the world,” said Professor Neelands, who is a National Teaching Fellow and Chair of Creative Education at Warwick Business School. “We find that the best way to encourage young people to develop a joy in reading Shakespeare is through getting them up on their feet, moving around, speaking the words and making the choices that actors do. The RSC’s research has shown that this approach is more likely to lead to a lifelong love of Shakespeare rather than sitting around in class and reading dusty books.”

Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC director of education, said: “We know there is a global community of teachers that are passionate about teaching Shakespeare and who want to explore new ways of teaching in order to unlock language, inspire learning and release imagination in students of all ages. “We hope to reach thousands of teachers through our new online programme and in doing so transform classroom experiences of Shakespeare for all kinds of learners. We hope that Teaching Shakespeare enables both teachers and their students to enjoy and achieve more together in their Shakespeare work.”

English eight year-old Ben now ranks Shakespeare alongside the most exciting things in the world after taking part in one of the RSC’s classes. The Stokeinteignhead Primary School pupil said: “My dad said Shakespeare was boring, but he’s got it wrong! I’m gonna tell him about Hamlet. It’s got murders and ghosts and castles and stuff and that’s not boring.”

At Honley High School in Holmfirth in West Yorkshire, UK, teachers said: “Over 93 per cent of students were ambivalent or vehement in their belief that Shakespeare was not fun. After using theatre-based teaching over 79 per cent of students saw the study of Shakespeare as fun.”

And Lillian, a London primary school teacher in the UK, said: “After using practical approaches to Shakespeare we found the writing levels of pupils in a highly disadvantaged class had improved considerably: 86 per cent were now on target to achieve level four in their SATs. Before the Shakespeare teaching unit, only 53 per cent were on target.”

Australian teacher Kate Walsh, of Toowoomba in Queensland, said: “I teach at Harristown State High School. Studying with both the University of Warwick and the Royal Shakespeare Company has been a fantastic experience. Working within a global online classroom with great resources and supportive staff has developed my pedagogy, helping bring Shakespeare to life in a number of ways.”

Professor Neelands has given Teaching Shakespeare workshops at The Singapore Repertory Theatre from March 16 to 20.

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To visit the Teaching Shakespeare website go to http://www.teachingshakespeare.ac.uk/

IHEAP (BIENNALE DE PARIS): 20 STUDENTS WANTED TO INVESTIGATE CRUCIAL ISSUES OF ART IN 21ST CENTURY

LE LOUVRE, PARIS – PHOTO BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

In 1983, the Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, gave Pontus Hulten the task of creating a graduate school for research in contemporary art. Its antecendents were to be the Weimer Bauhaus School and Black Mountain College in the U.S., and it was meant to function as an alternative to Paris’s École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap) offers participants a course of study where they can free themselves from the inherited art history of the 20th century, by investigating crucial issues of art in the 21st Century, an ongoing history in which the participants will eventually take part.

IHEAP is the Education section of the Biennale de Paris. The programme presupposes an intellectual orientation to which it is desirable, but not indispensable, to adhere. The Institute is open to all those who have an interest in singular and extreme practices which currently and sporadically appear in the art world and elsewhere. Iheap is for those who want to change their artistic practice or professional activity, for those who after several years of art school want to break free of alienated learning, who expect more from a school than a framework for artistic production, for those who reject art as it is commonly practiced, and finally for those who wish to work on essential issues in intimate and experimental conditions.

Only twenty students a year are chosen to study at Iheap. The course of study is completed in two years (or sessions). The first year is composed of two ten-week cycles, three half-days each week, dedicated to a single theme. The second year is dedicated to the creation of an investigative text of thirty pages, without illustrations. Its purpose is to demonstrate the development of the participant’s research. The development of this document will be carefully followed by Iheap’s staff. Study at Iheap is equivalent to a post-graduate degree. The application fee is 65 euros. Tuition is 2000 euros for the first year, 500 euros for the second, payable in one or two installments. Financial assistance is available.

More informations:

Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques (Iheap), Biennale de Paris, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, 11 rue Berryer,  75008 Paris, Tél. : +33 (0)1 4534 3004, http://iheap.fr

OPEN CALL FOR “LANDSCAPE EXPANDED”: ONE MONTH RESIDENCY PROGRAMME FOR ARTISTS IN KUWAIT

 

Landscapes Expanded will support artists to explore contemporary issues intrinsically related to site, space, and place in their field of work. The residency will begin with a three-day workshop that will support artists to develop concepts for their research in the weeks that follow. Throughout the programme participants will benefit from group and individual reviews of their work and guidance from the residency facilitator and visiting contributors.

The residency programme will be led by artist and curator Alia Farid Abdal, who explores personal perspectives of public space and constructed landscapes in her own art work and academic research. The programme will also benefit from insightful contributions from visiting artists and art critics such as British Artist David Rayson, whose work is featured in Out of Britain. Rayson is currently the Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art, London.

Participants’ work produced during the residency programme will be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMArt) at the end of October 2012. Chosen works may also be exhibited at a British Council Visual Arts exhibition that will showcase artists from the Gulf at the Brunei Gallery in London in 2015.

Eligibility: This residency is open to practicing artists and creative practitioners (from all disciplines) who are keen to develop the concepts of landscape art in their practice. Applicants must reside in Kuwait, must commit to participate in a three-day workshop (18 th – 20th September 2012) and closing presentation, which will take place on 18 th October 2012. The workshops will be hosted in English, however translators will be available should they be required.

Procedure. Deadline: 5th September 2012 (10am). Please e-mail the following (in English or Arabic) to nadia.elsebai@britishcouncil.org :  Artist C.V.; Up to 10 images of your work with an appendix stating the title, medium, and year the work was executed.; A statement of intent (up to 500 words) explaining why you are applying to the programme and what you hope to obtain from it. Please briefly state what themes you are interested to explore during the residency programme.

Large images will have to be submitted via www.wetransfer.com or any

other host site in which your images can be downloaded directly. Alternatively, you may wish to submit a link to your work online. For videos, please provide links of uploaded material either on youtube or vimeo. Suggested topics for research: Urban Tribes, The politics of dress, – Geopolitics, Landscapes created by advertising, Monuments in the construction of Landscapes and History, The demolished landscape, erasing history, and recuperating memory, Imagined landscapes, futuristic and fictitious.

THE SCIENCE EXPLAINS THE LAW OF ATTRACTION: INTERVIEW WITH PSYCHIATRIST AND AUTHOR DR. SRINI PILLAY

INTERVIEW: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

In his recent workbook “The Science behind the Law of AttractionDr. Srini Pillay draws on his experience as a Harvard psychiatrist and brain-imaging researcher. He describes seven scientific laws that explain how “The Law of Attraction” works. Whether the goal is weight loss, a romantic relationship, financial success or happiness, Dr. Pillay explains how we can draw on brain science to make sense of “The Law of Attraction.”

Drawing on extensive experience as a clinician and an executive coach, the author walks us through the scientific basis of each of the seven scientific laws of attraction rooted in brain science. In addition, he then provides the solutions and invites the reader to complete exercises targeted to specific brain-processes that bring us closer to realizing our dreams.

I had the honor to interview Dr. Pillay. I contacted him via Internet. I sent him the questions. I never doubted about his reply (it often happens that the interviewers are afraid about that…) And I had the answers, in perfect syntony of the same “Law of attraction”… and my desire too. Telling about his book, Dr. Srini Pillay says : “I saw this as an opportunity to add to the message that you can attract things into your life: with the provisor that you use your brain effectively and efficiently.”

– Dr.Srini Pillay, “The Science behind the Law of Attraction” is one of your recent books. Have you moved by a particular aim or reason to writin’it?

Throughout my life, my work has been about helping people deal with their suffering. So much of suffering came from unfulfilled desires, and when the law of attraction was expressed through books such as “The Secret”, I found that many people believed it, but were unable to manifest it. I recognized that the message that was out there may not have described how to use one’s brain to make the law of attraction work for people, and given my background, I saw this as an opportunity to add to the message that you can attract things into your life: with the provisor that you use your brain effectively and efficiently.

– Which is today the obstacle, or the problem, that prevents people to follow the “Law of Attraction”?

I think that there are several obstacles: firstly, people often feel like they just have to think about what they want and they will get it. But this does not happen. They have to think in a specific way and in ways that the brain can compute. For example, if you say: “I must remember not to spend too much money when I go out shopping”, under stress, the brain actually does not hear the “not” and will do the opposite of what you want. Tapping into the law of attraction takes a certain effort to “tune” your brain into the correct frequencies – it is a little like tuning your brain to the radio station of your desire so that it will come to you. Avoiding effort is a problem.

– Do you think that – in the “Law of Attraction” dynamics – the more we desire the more we get (the goals)?

I don’t think it is just about desire but more about how we interact with our desire. In fact constantly desiring often separates you from what you want and you never get it. For example, if you say: “I want money” or ‘I want a lover”, you are essentially telling the world (and your brain) that you are separate from what you want. However, if you say “I am rich”, you think like a rich person and become rich and if you say “I am a lover’ you behave like a lover so that a lover will join you. The clarity of our visualization does matter though, so in this sense, your desire needs to be well worked out so that your brain can map a path toward it.

– Which is the role of emotions in the “Law of Attraction”?

Emotions are critical in “the law of attraction.” They are essentially information that tells your brain how much you want or do not want something. Without them, your brain lacks the motivation to map out a path toward your goals.

– Have you a concrete suggestion/invite to try out, in a …few seconds, that this Law really works for everyone?

No. The difference between this book and what people often think is that the law of attraction only works with practice. Only for a few people who are already well practiced will it work in seconds. However, the book describes exercises that you can start to start making the law work for you. E.g. Talk to your brain in positives. Instead of saying what you will not do or want, say what you will do or want.

– Dr. Pillay, tell me one of the most important reasons why people should have to read this book.

I think that this book will provide the science behind the law of attraction. While it honors spirituality, it allows people to lean on the science for understanding. The main reason would be even one law that might inspire people to change their lives for the better.

– I love, in my artworks, to play and work with colors. For you, is there a color to identify “the Law of Attraction”? I mean: is there a favorite color to let this Law flows?

I think that we not know this answer scientifically. We do know things such as the fact that soccer teams who wear red jerseys are more likely to win their games, but in general, I think it is more about the match between the color and the person, as well as the task. Thus, I would say that the law flows most when the colors that you imagine or use authentically represent what is happening.

ABOUT SRINI PILLAY

www.srinipillay.com

http://www.neurobusinessgroup.com/

Srini Pillay, M.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. After graduating as the top medical student, he was the top award winner at Harvard during his residency and one of the top three award winners during his psychiatry residency in the US. He then directed the Outpatient Anxiety Disorders Program at McLean Hospital-Harvard’s largest psychiatric hospital and also completed 17 years of nationally funded brain imaging research. His first book, “Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear” (Rodale, August 2010) was voted one of five finalists in “Books for a Better Life” in the motivational category. In addition, his next book: “Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders” was peer-reviewed by Wharton Business School and is scheduled to be released in March of 2011. (FT Press, Kindle, November 2010).

Dr. Pillay is widely regarded as a motivational speaker who is able to explain the science behind seemingly non-rational phenomena. Among his many media appearances, he has been featured in The Boston Globe, Oprah radio (Dr. Laura Berman), Martha Stewart Whole Living, Cosmopolitan, Fox News and CNN. He has been invited to speak on “The Science Behind “The Law of Attraction” on Fox News, and will also be teaching a 6 week course on putting the science to work for you to achieve your lifelong dreams at the “University of Attraction.” He is able to apply this methodology to the business environment as well, and has been invited to speak on related topics in New York, California, Washington DC, Toronto, Switzerland, Greece and Singapore.

Business clients have included The World Bank, The MITRE Corporation, Novartis, Genzyme and McKinsey. Across the board, Dr. Pillay is known for bringing brain science to life in the simplest terms that he then translates into recommended action steps that you can take. Working with people in everyday life for most of his career, the unique contributions of Dr. Pillay that continue to spark interest all over the world are vividly demonstrated in “The Science Behind the Law of Attraction.”

SRINI PILLAY’S BOOKS

Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons to Overcome Fear (Rodale, 2010)

Your Brain and Business: The Neuroscience of Great Leaders (FT Press, 2010/11)

The Science Behind The Law of Attraction (NBG, 2011)

TECHNOLOGIES AND CREATIVITY TO IMPROVE AUTISM EDUCATION IN INDIA

Great need to improve autism education in India’, say researchers Academics from the University of Birmingham are in India sharing their expertise in the area of special educational needs, and autism in particular. Typically 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. While general awareness of autism has grown in India in recent times various misconceptions still exist. The public and some professionals need better understanding of what it means to have autism and how it affects people. There is also a need to share notions of  ‘best practice’ in the education of children and young people on the autism spectrum. 

Joining volunteers from the charity Hope & Compassion and colleagues from Cardiff Metropolitan University, Birmingham academics will impart skills and knowledge to people with limited access to training in autism, and introduce new technologies and equipment to help engage children who are hard to reach.  The group will be running seminars and conducting training with practitioners and parents. Additionally, they will undertake teaching sessions with children using interactive software (Reactickles and Somantics), which is specifically designed for children with autism.

The visit will also strengthen existing partnerships and create new collaborations with academics at the University of Delhi, Khalsa College, the charity Action for Autism and Pingalwara Charitable Society, as well as Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (a local government initiative for children with special educational needs and disabilities). Dr Karen Guldberg, Senior Lecturer in Autism Studies and Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research at the University of Birmingham, said: “We hope to set up sustainable networks and partnerships and will undertake a training needs analysis with a sample of parents and teachers. This will identify how we might be able to offer meaningful, long-term partnership and support.”

Manpreet Kaur from the charity Hope & Compassion, said: It is with the help of volunteers and academics that we are now able to bring new knowledge and research into areas that normally would not cater for the various disabilities.  This enables progression and development for children, families, carers and institutions.”

Infos

The University of Birmingham was established in 1900 and was the UK’s first   civic university where students from all religions and backgrounds were accepted on an equal basis.  A founding member of the Russell Group, it is one of the United Kingdom’s internationally acclaimed research–intensive universities.  The University’s work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 different countries.  The University of Birmingham’s engagement with India spans over 100 years.   The first Indian students came to Birmingham in 1909 to study degrees in Mining and Commerce and there are now more than 1000 Indian alumni.  The University currently has over 180 students from India studying a wide range of   subjects – at all levels from foundation to doctoral research.   The University’s India Office opened in New Delhi in 2009.  This was the first overseas office of the University of Birmingham and has been established to maintain partnerships with local providers, support the alumni in India, further consolidate research collaborations and provide local services to those students who wish to study at the University.  For further information please visit: www.birmingham.ac.uk

Hope & Compassion is a charity that works with other organisations abroad to improve the lives of children with special educational needs and their families living in poverty in developing countries. At the heart of Hope and   Compassion is a team of experienced professionals from the UK, qualified in education and specialist therapies. The countries abroad where we are working have very few practitioners with equivalent qualifications, so we are sharing our skills and best practice to train project staff abroad. We work with local charities to train and educate their members of staff, giving a lasting legacy of high quality skills and experience abroad.  For further information, visit: www.hopecompassion.org