University of Toledo Art Department faculty Eric Zeigler and Brian Carpenter received international recognition for a course they designed.
Their paper, “Engaging Tools,” was published this spring by the international research organization, Architecture_Media_Politics_Society (AMPS), in its conference publication, “AMPS Proceedings Series 17.1. Education, Design and Practice — Understanding Skills in a Complex World.”Zeigler and Carpenter’s paper covers the development and implementation of a course they designed for The University of Toledo Department of Art: Foundations of Art Studio Technologies (FAST). The purpose of the course is to enhance students’ understanding of themselves as “tool-users” and to reinforce the importance of agency that is developed through the process of “making.”
The paper’s introduction states, “The paper examines … our approach for creating an environment where students understand the physical, historical and philosophical relationships between tools; can operate and discern the components of tools; and begin to create a foundation to become a manually competent knowledge worker.”
“I would add that the course is a foundational component in a college career where an understanding of the components of the systems we live within needs more scrutiny and analysis than ever before,” said Zeigler, assistant professor of art and coordinator of the Art Print Center.
The FAST course has been offered at UToledo since 2016, according to Carpenter, assistant professor of art and gallery director.
Students have appreciated the class. One wrote anonymously in a course evaluation, “I love that we are able to learn something conceptually and then immediately apply it hands-on. This isn’t common in most classes, and I really appreciate this.”
A compilation of all the papers presented at the AMPS conference was published this spring on the AMPS website.