skip to main content

Contextual and theoretical studies with The Design Museum

Women's march, Washington DC, January 2017

This development day will focus on making exhibitions a central medium to inspire contextual studies. Using the live case study of Hope to Nope, The Design Museum’s provocative political graphics exhibition, we will help nurture your skills in utilising exhibitions to inspire today’s learners in contextualisation.

UAL and The Design Museum have collaborated to deliver this continuing professional development day for teachers and creative educators. You will visit two exhibitions and take part in a number of creative activities to deconstruct the challenges faced in contextual studies with your peers and two design specialist facilitators.

Throughout the day, you are encouraged to reflect on your own practice and critically consider how teaching contextual studies with your particular learners and course/s can be supported by the content and context of museums.

The day will start by exploring Origins Creative Arts Festival at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf. The facilitators will set the scene for a day full of activities and exploration, designed to foster a deeper understanding of the importance and the content of Contextual and Theoretical Studies.

Each activity has been designed to promote reflective learning on brief setting and content planning, as well as providing a space for you to share issues and challenges you face with your peers.

For the afternoon, we will venture to The Design Museum in Kensington to visit and discuss Hope to Nope. The day will culminate with discussions reflecting on the possibilities, opportunities and challenges presented when using a gallery as medium to inspire and an alternative learning environment, with a focus on breaking down the cultural, language and environmental barriers of gallery as a learning space.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding how exhibitions can be used as direct inspiration for Contextual and Theoretical Studies and through their value as an alternative learning environment
  • Understanding the need for an integrated Contextual and Theoretical Studies approach during the progression from Further to Higher Education, as well as the role of the gallery visit in achieving this
  • Developing gallery-based strategies (incl. exploring artworks, exhibits and hands-on activities) to improve students’ critical engagement and reflective learning in support of their Contextual and Theoretical Studies
  • Developing insights relevant to your own teaching practice, sharing methods and creating new engaging activities that can be mapped to specific assessment requirements related to students’ critical and academic skills

Who should attend?

Ideal for those who teach art and design qualifications at the following levels:

  • GCSE
  • AS Level
  • A Level
  • UAL Awarding Body (Levels 1–4)
  • BTEC


This CPD event is offered at the special rate of £25 as half of the event will take place at UAL Awarding Body's Origins Creative Arts Festival.

Date: 3 August 2018

Time: 10.30am - 4.30pm

Venue: The Design Museum

Price: £25

About the facilitators

Find out about our excellent facilitators.

Dr. Alexandra Antonopoulou

Dr. Alexandra Antonopoulou is a Course Leader - Senior Lecturer who has been teaching in several institutions such as the University of the Arts London, Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Arts.

Working at the intersection between design, education, narrative theory and science, her teaching, research and practice are concerned with discourses on learning, shared authorship, power and collaboration. Her work as a practising designer and researcher has been showcased at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the London Design Museum, the Whitechapel Gallery, the Tate Modern, E4 channel, MTV and other institutions and universities around the world.

Thomas Empson

Thomas Empson is currently a Research Fellow and PhD scholar at The Nathu Puri Institute for Engineering Enterprises and Entrepreneurship at London South Bank University.

His research focuses on developments in sustainable production and consumption through creative engineering solutions.  Thomas has 10-years industry experience working within innovation, funded programmes, marketing, communications and brand management and has simultaneously been a sessional lecturer in marketing since 2007. He obtained an MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths and a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design with Marketing from Central Saint Martins in 2007.

Need an invoice?

Please email