My mobility teaching period took place during the first half of October 2017, and consisted of a series of lectures, meetings and dialogues.
To begin with, I must point out that my interest and curiosity regarding the Art Design Studio at VSVU were triggered through the student works shown on the Design Department’s web page. Surely the prevailing studio attitude that produced these works would be good ground for conversation.
The main topic of conversation was the interplay between Conceptual Design (Art Design, Design for Debate, Experimental Design….) and Industrial Design, both in the academic and professional fields. This topic was chosen for both personal and professional/academic reasons as our parallel Design Departments have different approaches structure/curriculum-wise to these fields while at the same time outputting similar contemporary design.
I also took advantage of the platform to inject something of a cultural exchange, highlighting local issues such as geography, geology and archaeology, student profile and department atmosphere, professional employment climate, etc. Translation was needed at times as not everyone spoke English, or Slovak (that would be me…).
I found Bratislava, the school and people extremely friendly and comfortable to be around. The size of the city with its old center by the river, hilly surrounding and visible castle make for easy orientation and urban exploring. In fact, the great apartment where I stayed within VSVU’s main building, where the administration also is situated, can’t be any more centrally located and just a couple of minutes walk from one of the city's main bus depots.
The Design Department's building is situated on a hill overlooking the city and made for nice walks back and forth from the apartment in the old city center. I made sure to choose a different walking route and different local dish in the "cantina" each time in order to see and taste more.
There were additional design events I attended during my short stay: an international illustration biennale in the Natural History Museum, a great
exhibit on contemporary woodblock printing at the National Gallery and the National Design awards event.
But the highlight of my stay was undoubtedly the people! I'd like to take this opportunity to openly thank everyone involved in my visit, including in the studios, administration, students and ERASMUS. I feel I have not only gained professional contacts, colleagues, and counterparts -but true friends.
Thank you! Ďakujem! Toda!