MediaLab* creates a technological and theoretical background for innovative techniques in graphic design and multimedia used in visual communication.
MediaLab* is a specialized space within the Department of Visual Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, that aims to create technological and theoretical background in use of new technologies and principles in fields of art, design and visual communication and incorporate them into educational process.
One of MediaLab*s main tasks is to create connections in different fields i.e. between art and tech, academic field and practice. MediaLab* builds network of individuals and organisations to help connecting participants and support the execution of projects to success. Project based system encourage students to focus on a problem solving in a holistic way. Besides of projects execution, MediaLab* initiates presentations, workshops and lectures in particular fields of art and technology.
Students attend the Medialab* as a part of their study programmes or they can attend it as an optional activity. Programme is time based on academic calendar so its main time frame is one semester.
MediaLab* also collaborates with atellers within the Department of Visual Communication on students semester assignments, addressing specific problems. Thus, students have the opportunity to consider the use of visual communication in an interdisciplinary context, for example through the use of multimedia.
MediaLab* also participates in the infrastructure of local fab labs and creative centres with the aim to build a background for project and prototype implementation.
Financing is provided within the budget of the Academy, specifically the Department of Visual Communication. 300 Eur is allocated for the semester (excluding staff costs). Team members of the lab are apx. 2-3 people, who are either employees of the Academy or have an external employmentship with it.
Evidence of success
MediaLab* focuses to create connections between different fields with the aim to help students to gain not just theoretical but practice knowledge and relevant work experience at the same time. Many of the students participate and implement various projects even during their study and many of them gets different kind of awards. The number of participants per semester is approximately 22 people. Students are enrolled in two programs. Students' success rate in practice after graduation is 100%.
Even though doctoral students participate on the content and activities of MediaLab, it does not fulfil its whole capacity and vision. There is a need to extend the staffing potential of the workforce to other professionals allowing better and continuous fulfilment of the main MediaLab´s objectives.
Potential for learning or transfer
MediaLab is part of a stable and renowned university. On the one hand, it is implemented into the study programmes of the Department of Visual Communication, but on the other, it also provides service to all university students without distinction. The MediaLab activities are not limited to research and practical part of academic assignments, they link school with practice through different kinds of projects, extracurricular and advanced educational and presentation activities. MediaLab reflects current events in the field of technology and art and provides new information to university students. MediaLab cooperates with two fablabs in Bratislava, creates contacts and participates in various creative industry discussion platforms. It develops relationships in the field of further education of university students (e.g. Butterfly effect).