About Us

Hours

Fall 2017
Monday: 10am-8pm
Tuesday: 10am-8pm
Wednesday: 10am-8pm
Thursday: 10am-8pm
Friday: 10am-2pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 5pm-8pm

Closed Oct. 8-10 for Fall Break.

Practices: What We Do and How we Do It

The Digital ACT Studio practices a collaborative approach to sessions, where designers and consultants engage in one-on-one conversations about projects—conversations that focus on shared knowledge and expertise, as opposed to hierarchical instruction. Our goal is to help people become better designers and to that end, we encourage them to be in control of their projects and to participate actively in their DACTS sessions.

The Digital ACT Studio “Digiteers” engage in the following practices:

  • Sit next to designers, not across the desk from them.
  • Make sure designers are the ones making changes in their projects, not consultants. This allows designers to retain ownership of their project and their composing process.
  • Ask designers engaging, introductory questions such as “What are you working on today?” as opposed to “What can I do for you?”—the former question asks designers to simply share where they are in their creative process and does not presuppose that the consultant can or will do something.
  • Give designers our undivided attention, using eye contact, body language, tone of voice, and conversation that reflect genuine interest in them and their work.
  • Find out logistics from designers first: when is the project due, have they received a grade or instructor feedback, and what the specific assignment is. This allows us to gauge our approach.
  • Ask designers to tell us as much as they can about the assignment and their attitudes toward it, their composing process, and their own thinking about the project before we even begin reviewing the project. This will allow designers to set their own terms for how the session will go, and it will allow Digiteers and designers to set an agenda together.
  • Ask designers how they feel about the project once it has been reviewed during the session. Let their questions and reactions determine the starting point of the conversation. Respond to projects in relation to what designers describe as their intentions or concerns. Our purpose is not to evaluate but to describe our reactions as attentive audience members. We function to provide direct, honest feedback, not evaluation.
  • Ask designers open-ended questions about how the medium they chose for their project is well suited to their message? Does the medium enhance understanding? Distract from the message?
  • Focus on a set of issues (constructed by designers and consultants) rather than every issue that is present in the project. First, the latter is not possible. Second, we don’t work to make sure designers leave with PERFECT projects—instead it’s better to focus on the designing process rather than just the product.
  • Provide instruction as needed, talk with designers about strategies they might try, or suggest options they may want to consider. However, leave the decision-making and the actual choices up to designers.
  • Are mindful of sexist, racist and homophobic discourse, because the Digital ACT Studio is an influential site of communication practices.
  • End sessions by having designers articulate what they are going to do with their project once they leave the Center. That way, they have a sense of what to do next.

Of course, these are not the only practices that support a collaborative approach to Digital ACTS sessions. Just remember: we connect designers with an audience and provide a forum for productive conversation that helps designers better understand themselves as digital composers and communicators. All of our practices are geared toward making this happen.

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