Meet your Course Director Demitrios Kargotis
MA Art and Design: Interdisciplinary Practices
Could you tell us about what you do?
Alongside my teaching, I am an artist and designer based in Birmingham. I work as part of the design action group, Dash n' Dem, working on wide-ranging participatory projects centred on popular culture education and critical and creative citizenship participation. The open-ended, collaborative structure of my practice explores how co-creation can work as a form of activism that empowers different audiences to confront and reimagine reality. I am also Co-Founder of Post Workers Theatre (PWT), a design troupe investigating the future of politically engaged performance, reimagining historic forms of creative resistance for a contemporary context. My practice is a key part of my teaching and vice versa.
What teaching approach do you take as Course Leader?
Working with students on a non-hierarchal, level field is really important to me. I don't see myself as a knowledge bank imparting my knowledge to the students who sit there and listen. Enabling a collaborative, co-creative approach is a key part of how I work with the students. This brings a much richer learning experience and empowers the students to feel part of a community that co-shares and expands their ideas through a far more enriching process of learning.
What is the philosophy of your course?
MA Art and Design Interdisciplinary Practices aims to challenge your existing practice and push your work and ideas in new directions. The course accommodates a deliberately diverse cohort, with students arriving with a range of skills and interests. The course hopes to nurture this, developing practices with multiple strands of investigation. The diversity of approaches aims to develop confident, creative people that adopt versatile approaches in their practice, with a broad creative knowledge base to respond to a fast-pace, changing world.
If you had to name one thing about your course that makes it distinct, what would it be?
I'll give you two: interdisciplinarity and community.
Why is Birmingham a good place to study/work?
Birmingham has historically been a city going through constant change and continues to do so. There is ongoing development of large-scale infrastructural projects, such as HS2, that will undoubtedly transform Birmingham for the better. It is a rich hub of cultural centres, including galleries, creative studios, arts organisations and annual art and design festivals. Full of interesting people. It is a multicultural city that has a lot to offer and students find it a great place to study and also eventually begin their creative careers here.
Why do you believe it's important to study an MA?
An MA will develop your critical thinking and test your practical making. Supported by your peer group and tutors, it will propel your ideas and work into new areas, providing skills applicable to any career.
What can students do to help prepare them for the course?
Come here with an open mind. Be enthusiastic and curious. Be excited when you think of creative ideas. You need to be polite and to care and share.