Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, global university education is undergoing massive changes with regard to teaching, learning, and conducting research. Philipp Heidkamp, Professor for Interface Design at KISD – Köln International School of Design and currently serving as Cumulus Vice President, recently led a project team to set up the online platform CumulusConnects.org as a space for international connection and conversation.
Cumulus is a global association to serve art and design education and research. It is a forum for partnership and transfer of knowledge and best practices. Cumulus consists currently of 340 members from 61 countries. The new online platform, CumulusConnects.org, launched in fall 2020, invites the Cumulus family and its network of partners and friends around the world to meet virtually and share expertise and experiences about the implications of this “new normal”. How does the Cumulus association seize this momentum in order to learn about resilience, to change perspectives, and to generate new ideas for collaboration and collective action?
CumulusConnects.org for global exchange in times of a pandemic
Mariana Amatullo, Vice Provost at The Parsons New School of Design, New York City, and Cumulus President, says: “We are thrilled to have launched the CumulusConnects digital platform – a microsite that aspires to bring together Cumulus members and the larger art and design education global community in a dynamic virtual space that catalyzes conversations that matter in our disciplines. I am especially grateful to the leadership of Professor Philipp Heidkamp, Cumulus Vice President, for acting as the chief steward of this effort, one that was made possible in close coordination with the Cumulus Secretariat, our Executive Board, and a dedicated team of colleagues from our community.
Mariana Amatullo adds: “In the wake of COVID-19, many of the Cumulus international activities and physical conferences went on pause. It became apparent that we had to act fast and turn the challenges of the pandemic into opportunities for innovation. With the CumulusConnects site, we are experimenting with a space for new experiences for engagement, learning and dialogue. While the site was first conceived as a short-term response to our global crisis, it has already evolved into a rich communication platform that I look forward to seeing grow in the future with the perspectives and contributions of our global community.“