Alt/Shift was launched at a major conference in December 2012. 140 educators and industry practitioners from across the UK gathered at the headquarters of digital communications agency LBi to discuss the potential of genuine collaboration. The day featured presentations from key industry figures such as Shane Walter, founder of digital arts organisation onedotzero and Will Hudson from creative blog It’s Nice That, alongside talks from innovative educators such as Nat Hunter from the RSA and Professor Shan Wareing, Pro Vice Chancellor of Learning & Teaching at Buckinghamshire University. The presentations stimulated a series of discussions that enabled contributions from every level of creative education. Before and after the event, the debate was captured on the Alt/Shift website and on Twitter via @altshiftual.
Alt/Shift 2.1: Creative Education for a Digital Context’ took place on 17 April 2013 at the ustwo™ studios in Shoreditch. It took the form of a round table discussion between leading industry practitioners and a group of invited educators. Participants included Nick Bell (designer and RCA visiting critic), Lawrence Zeegen (Dean of Graphic Design at LCC), Chris Downs (inventor of ‘Service Design’), Durrell Bishop (Luckybite) and Andy Huntington (Berg), as well as secondary school teachers and lecturers from tertiary and higher education. It became apparent very quickly that “although there are gaps between industry and education (and some gaps are important to maintain), we also share a lot of the same concerns and motivations for change not just within digital media but across all areas of creative education.” (Comment from PhD student and lecturer, James Branch).