Friday, 7 April 2017

Final Thoughts on Innovation and Entrepreneurialism Module, TMA1402

Just rounding off on the final day of the 2nd term of a three term Masters Degree in Digital Media. 

Phew, that was an interesting 12 weeks.

Facilitating what started as a rather disparate group of creative individuals, from a cross discipline pool of talents, ranging from Photographers, Digital Artists / web designers, Graphic Artists, Textile Designers and Fashion (oh, and not forgetting me as a Contemporary Artist & Illustrator), has been a challenge at times, but also great fun.

We set out with a brief that was highly flexible in many ways, almost to the point of ambiguity, but with the right mindset, determined optimism (especially on my part!), we've come a long way. 

Having set good boundaries to work within, documenting our thoughts and meetings, and most importantly, regular contact with our client, (Dr Liam Devlin), we have created a solid structure of delivery. By reflecting, evaluating and checking on the progress of our ideas, both informally in group chats, also with our client, and through formal presentations of those ideas, the group have created various artistic outputs, which meet the brief through innovative design choices.

Outputs from the exhibition, expressly designated as being suitable for archive, include artifacts that are complete in many cases, (Such as the internal reflections / e-portfolio web-site - Which for completeness (Created by Chelsea Horan and myself) can be found here:

a fully functioning Events Archive Website by Chelsea Horan and Daniel Ainsworth (here) >

- The above site is in production readiness for the closing event scheduled for May 5th.

We've started to finish off the long editing process of the film productions of the "Event Discussions" with the First Event (Edited by Grete Tvarkunaite and Adam Summerscales), below;

( Video By Adam Summerscales, April 2017

An example of a tangible output that we are proposing to hand to Dr Devlin as a little 'keepsake' is the production of a small book that details our 'interpretations' of each of the three "Discursive Documents" events.  The book will be printed for all the participants on the Masters Degree team, with some additional copies made available for the artists if they wish to have them.

While this is a work in progress, with the final event (the closing event) due in May, we have a few weeks to finalise the design and produce a sufficient print run of up to 20.

Above all, I think the outputs are 'fit for purpose'.  This is bourn out because of the positive feedback from not only members of the group, but other (albeit anecdotal evidence) casual viewers of our work.  This creates a positive sense of accomplishment.

Final Reflections & Conclusions;

  • It has been a pleasure to work with those people in the group who are organised and self motivated.  They have used their own autonomy and initiative to complete tasks to agreed group deadlines, and for that, as a facilitator of the group, I am personally grateful.
  • There were a small minority, only two or three within the team, who haven't chosen to, or been able to commit to the group in a particularly organised manner.  There will always be reasons for this, some intrinsic, some extrinsic, and the group structure must allow to accommodate for this. It's basic group dynamics, and good teams are flexible to take up issues.
  • I'm disappointed that one of the team started raising issues on the design of the internal website at the eleventh hour.  There has been ample time over the last twelve weeks to collaborate with the group and jointly define what might be acceptable and not acceptable for changes to be made in a timely manner.  Especially as the internal collaborative site was made available to everyone around week 8. To raise observations suggesting changes virtually at 'submission time' isn't very collaborative, or organised.
  • Perhaps in reflection, could this issue of someone only just getting involved in the final week be a failing on my part? That is, should I have been even more persuasive towards that individual to get engaged with the group much more at an earlier stage? 
  • But then again, as I've considered before, there are those who 'say' they want to engage, and those who actually do.  The American phrase of "there are those who talk the talk, and those who walk the walk" comes to mind.  What people say, versus what they do are two very different things. Simply put, actions do speak louder than words...


Ainsworth. D, & Horan, C. (2017): Website
Hadfield, G.P. & Horan, C. & al. (2017); Website
Summerscales, A.P. & Tvarkunaite, G. (2017); Video

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