Snapshot Montage


Snapshot Montage

Snapshot Montage

The initial endeavor in introducing aesthetic experimental courses began with Snapshot Montage, initially designed as an exercise for freshman architecture majors at Tunghai University. This exercise involved students searching for common objects or elements in the campus environment, collecting a series of images, and arranging them in photo grids. In addition to developing their photo composition skills, students were also required to observe the environmental information and present their personal interpretations. To adapt the course for younger students, we transformed the concept into a “puzzle,” making the idea of “collage” more familiar and engaging for children.

 

In early 2020, we conducted experiments and promoted the course in two elementary schools in Taitung City. Initially, we guided the students by asking questions like “Look, what is this?” This approach aimed to encourage students to observe visual elements such as colors, lines, and shapes in their environment, rather than solely focusing on identifying the names of objects. Using digital devices, specifically tablets, the students captured their own discoveries. Later, in the classroom, they utilized an image collage application to edit the materials they had photographed, creating multiple themed collages. Finally, they uploaded and shared their creations with their classmates.

 

The advancement of digital tools and sharing services has significantly simplified the process of image editing. As students instinctively manipulated images to create snapshot montages, they also unconsciously engaged in the processes of visual recognition, interpretive operations, and narrative expression. This course expanded the learning experience beyond the confines of the classroom to the campus environment and further to the digital platform. It not only facilitated students’ observation and collection of materials from their local surroundings, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of their environment, but also encouraged the formation of perceptions related to the environment, arts/design, life, and other cultural legacies.

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    • Aesthetic-experimental-course

    Digital Decoupage

    Digital Decoupage was the second aesthetic experimental course promoted by CRIT-AADE, and it was developed by Prof. Jen-Hwang Ho, Professor at Graduate Institute of Architecture, NYCU. It is another three-stage session course, from observation, digital image manipulation to creative interpretation.

     

    In the first stage, the students took a look at the plants on the campus, observed the patterns of flowers, leaves, veins and branches, and recorded their discoveries with photos, sketches or frottage imprints, which showed their observation of natural science and geometric logics. Next, the students learned to use digital modeling and visual programming software, Rhino 3D and Grasshopper. With simple preset procedures, they could generate solid geometric forms like polygons, pyramids and spheres on the interface, literally see the mathematical order within the natural forms, and realize that with the basics of algorithms, it is possible to create abundant organic forms. Eventually, the results could be compared with the records collected in the first stage. They could also use laser cutting, 3D printing and other technologies to manufacture real products in the digital environment.

     

    A typical course for environment familiarity often starts with introducing the names of objects in a specific environment for identification. However, mostly the perception stayed there and could not be developed further. In the course, Digital Decoupage, we attempted to guide the students to dig more deeply into the meanings underlying names. Whether you know the name of the plant or not, you could still observe its geometric composition and organic order. These “filters” for observation brought some possibilities for aesthetic perception more than identification, which stimulated derivative manipulation and interpretation.

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      CRIT-AADE Project Documentary

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      Aesthetics needs to be cultivated, but it is not like a tree, of which growth can be measured by physical appearance. The concept is abstract so people mostly tend to focus on the forms and works of aesthetics. However, the process, which is worth more attention, is often overlooked.

       

      Aesthetics doesn’t merely show in paintings and statues; it could be simply found on the sidewalk and at your door. Therefore, rather than how to draw a beautiful painting or how to write an elaborated article, we should care more about our everyday life.

       

      Curriculum Reform Initiative Taskforce: Agenda for Art and Design Education (CRIT-AADE) wishes to bring aesthetic impacts on not only students but also teachers. As teachers bring the materials from life to the class, which can echo the experiences of students, it is more possible for aesthetics to be related and realized in real life. Teaching in class is only the approach, and practicing in life is our ultimate goal and the outcome we expect. When teachers and students can appreciate and experience life with all sensory perceptions, it is a way to boost aesthetic education.

       

      We have pondered on what would be the legacies of this program. We understand the importance of formative assessment in the teaching process, and therefore understand that lesson plans and students’ work cannot be viewed as the only outcomes. To sustain the impact of aesthetic education, CRIT-AADE is determined to build up a website as an official database to save every effort and resource from all the developers. Moreover, with assistance from Life Scenery Film, we are glad to document the wonderful moments of aesthetic courses taking place in different schools on this beautiful island.

    • The Anne Times
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      It was a three-stage session. The first stage was an introductory lecture in the classroom, which gave students a primary understanding of the process and techniques. Secondly, teachers and students would leave the classroom and carry copying and rubbing tools such as cloth and carbon paper, instead of digital recording devices like mobile phones and laptops. Opening their eyes and searching for textures and patterns around them, the students then used their skins and bodies to identify their sensory feelings and integrated them with their previous visual experiences. It took a lot of strength for the students to squat and lean on the floor, to press and to rub the textures. The tactile process, therefore, gave them a strong impression. After getting the imprints on paper, they compared the frottage imprints with the original textures and surprisingly found an interesting relationship between the two.

       

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