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Animation as mindful practice

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This article reports on a joint research project at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and the Royal College of Art that investigates whether the making of drawn animation can be demonstrated as a mindful practice. The original intention of the project was to explore the potential application of Buddhist principles and practices such as mindfulness within a practical, secular context to benefit art and design students who experience stress in the learning environment and who wish to examine their learning processes more closely. This research project is situated within wider developments in UK higher education that seek to enable students to engage meaningfully with the affective and extra-rational dimensions of learning. Faced with a complex and uncertain future, and curricula that encourage engagement in uncertainty and ambiguity, art and design graduates need to be able to take responsibility for their personal development and respond to stress and change in generative and constructive ways. During the research process, a series of experiential activities and workshops were devised to explore the development of a group of capacities identified in a number of published sustainability literacy frameworks, in particular the attributes of personal resilience, self-awareness and interconnectedness through systemic and relational thinking and making. The project looks at the potential of the processes of drawn animation in combination with short-form mindfulness meditation techniques for developing these and associated attributes.
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Keywords: drawn animation; interconnectedness; meditation; mindfulness; pedagogical research; sustainability literacy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University for the Arts London 2: University for the Creative Arts

Publication date: December 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Animation Practice, Process & Production is a journal presenting, analysing and advancing how animation is created and shown. From Pixar to Parn, Aardman to X-Men, Motion Capture to Mobile Phone, GUI to Gallery, all forms of animation will be revealed and assessed. Illustrated contributions are invited from practitioners and scholars of animation. Innovative models of critical presentation and analysis are especially encouraged. All topics engaged with the practice, process and production of animation, from a range of perspectives, will be considered.
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