Monday, November 14, 2011


When: Monday, November 28th at 5:30pm
Where: Burlington City Arts Center- 135 Church Street
Interested in the MFA Emergent Media Program at Champlain College?
Then don't miss out on a genuine MFA experience! Join us for a brief information session and the Emergent Landscape class with featured speaker Chris Thompson, curator of the Burlington City Arts Center. Be part of envisioning the creative spark in contemporary arts transforming the future of technology.
RSVP: Contact Kathleen Ray at or 802-383-6602 by November 24th!
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Not able to attend or follow live? Check back here for a recap of events and stay tuned for upcoming events and projects at the EMC:

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Emergent Landscape Speaker Series- Adam Rubin

With tangible passion and dedication, Adam Rubin spoke to the current MFA students about the state of education.
“The United States is forty-eighth in the world in mathematics and science,” he said. “It’s a national security issue.” His firm, 2Revolutions, combines social change revolution and labor market revolution to improve the national education system. In its fourth year, 2Revolutions is an education design lab that “designs/launches new ‘future of learning’ models.” Adam Rubin’s presentation, The Future of Learning (…and how you can help design it), illustrated the dire state of the education system in our country.
Three-fourths of high school graduates are not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses. Schools are built to manufacture citizens for a twentieth-century solution, a world in which the only options after high school were college, factory, or farm. “The game has changed,” Adam Rubin said. “But we’re still using the same system.”
Education should be personalized with students “driving their own learning.” A successful learning experience should be based on competency and proficiency—essentially “outcomes rather than time.” No person should be made to feel inferior because he or she required more than thirteen years to complete K-12 education. It should be a personal experience, each child receiving what they need to get the most out of their schooling. “Fixing the education problem will maintain U.S. economic competitiveness, preserve democracy and respect for diversity, and drive social well-being and quality of life across society.”
Adam Rubin spoke at Champlain College as part of the Emergent Landscape Speaker Series for the MFAs in Emergent Media. His goals for recreating American’s perception of modern education are relevant and necessary to the successful future of the country. Education at the K-12 level is supposed to be enjoyable and entertaining, stipulations that foster success.
As a society we have to get rid of the notion that a four-year college education is the only truly right answer, especially for an eighteen-year-old kid fresh out of high school. “Our firm does not advocate ‘college for everyone,’ but every kid should have the option to go and be successful. They’ve just chosen something else.” Essentially, forcing children to go to school at eighteen is counterproductive, and something needs to change.
2Revolutions is working toward redefining education to reach all of these goals, to change popular perception of the “right” steps in education. Adam Rubin is beginning the revolution in his own firm, utilizing Talent Clouds to brainstorm and develop ideas. The talent cloud encompasses various talents and places them in positions of experts, project managers and researchers, with each person doing what they want to do in a form that they are really good at.
Adam Rubin’s goals to redefine the education system seem to be based on a similar idea: it requires people who are using what they love to do in a way that offers positive results. He said he hoped to include the MFA students in his talent cloud as well, in an effort to “unthink school to rethink learning.”
The future, therefore, should be all about “do[ing] what you love for good.”

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Emergent Landscape Speaker Series- Michael Jager

Michael Jager—tall, thin, and unassuming—entered the room with a smile.
“The human connection seems to be breaking down,” he said, opening his conversation on fearless empathy with a video of a couple kissing passionately.  His mission in the design world is to create things that reinforce and encourage that connection—a connection that stimulates a sensual memory, like a person’s first kiss.
In an incredible two hours, Michael Jager illustrated his achievements at JDK Design with the perfect amount of humor and audience interaction. Using such clients as Burton Snowboards, Zune, and Xbox 360, he explained the importance of empathy in his line of work. “Clients are not villains or meat… Always practice respect for your audience. People are not dumb.”  JDK’s success stems from the firm’s resilient recognition of that human connection and the importance of empathizing with those they work for: the brands and the community.
MFA graduate students and community members alike sat enthralled as Michael Jager displayed a design for a Burton Snowboard done entirely in blue ink from a Bic Pen, followed by more designs drastically different from the one preceding it. He explained the importance of starting from scratch for each design: “Kill what you know,” he said. “There is always more to learn.”
After encouraging the audience to always “disrupt with substance,” Michael Jager did just that, inviting the MFA graduate students present to participate in an activity titled Hand Jobs. Each person was given a mirror, a pad of paper, and one minute to complete a self-portrait without lifting the pen from the paper. When that minute was up, each pad was passed around three times to a different person, each participant adding first a noun, then a verb, and finally an adjective.
The end results garnered much laughter as each person read from the pad, presenting such creations as “Ground See Green” and “Frantic Thought Bomb.” It was a successful use of William S. Burroughs’ cut-up method, in which the consciousness of a group is merged and overlapped to create what may be lurking in the collective unconscious. “Don’t think, make,” Michael Jager said as he watched the MFA graduate students draw. “Make yourself make, and don’t stop.”
While part of the Emergent Landscape Speaker Series for the MFAs in Emergent Media, Michael Jager’s conversation on fearless empathy applied to all those present, Champlain College undergraduates and community members alike.
“Disregard where your abilities end. You can always go further.”
“Create trust.”
“Seek criticism, not praise.”
JDK’s success is largely due to the design talent inside the firm, but also remarkable is the company’s values and the idea of living brands that resonates with consumers and clients equally. Michael Jager made design sound personal, with each client and each assignment no more or less important than the ones before and after it. His notion of “fearless empathy” is easily applicable to any and every relationship, business or personal, and though unassuming and personable, it was very clear by the end of the conversation that Michael Jager was an expert on the idea of the human connection.