Two international experts have delivered lectures examining the impact of digital technology in the fields of mobile learning and architecture in the latest round of RMIT Vietnam’s public lecture series.
Mark Pegrum, an Associate Professor specialising in e-learning at the University of Western Australia - currently undertaking research mobile technology, digital literacy, augmented reality, mobile learning trails and games, and other fields - spoke about the potential of mobile devices in language learning and in the development of literacy, as well as on the building of communities and the exploration of culture.
“There are three main levels of mobile learning evident today,” he said, “learning where the devices are mobile but the learners and the learning experience are not; learning where the devices and the learners are mobile, but the learning experience is not; and learning where the devices, learners and the learning experience are all mobile.”
“The implications for learning languages, building communities, and exploring culture, differ dramatically across these levels,” he said.
After examining case studies of mobile language and literacy projects based in Africa, South America and Asia, Associate Professor Pegrum emphasised the importance of local context as “we attempt to design the optimal kinds of mobile learning for our own learners in our own contexts.”
In the second lecture, Hong Kong-based architect Kristof Crolla used his recent work in China to illustrate how the introduction of project-specific materials and construction-based paradigms in the digital workflow, especially during the early design stage, can facilitate intuitive architectural outcomes from limited means.
“Current evolutions in computational design are radically expanding the design-solution space available to architects,” said Crolla.
However, he explained, since digital technology had started being applied to architectural design, a clear disconnect had manifested between opportunities in the virtual space and their real-world implementation. “Especially in developing countries, this divide reveals itself in the difficulties the non-standard often faces in dealing with onsite restrictions and unexpected limitations, and is apparent in the discord between available digital and onsite craft,” Crolla said.
In search of an alternative contemporary mode of architectural practice, Crolla works for the Laboratory for Explorative Architecture & Design Ltd. (LEAD) where he has generated surprisingly sympathetic outcomes in a context notorious for its poor building quality.
Crolla has combined his architectural practice at LEAD with an Assistant Professorship in Computational Design at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Architecture (CUHK), and is currently focused on the strategic implementation of computation in architectural design.
The two talks were the third in a series of free public lectures given by internationally renowned scholars in the field of Digital Teaching and Learning, an initiative of the University’s Centre of Digital Excellence.
Story: Hoang Ha