Networked Community & Environment is a course that allows students to explore critical design and social art practices that are focused on generating forms of social engagement within a public sphere. This class was centered around a partnership with the AGO’s Youth Program, the students worked directly with participants of the Free-After-Three program to start a pilot project for a youth radio station within the gallery.
This collaboration was co-directed by Sarah Febbraro (AGO Youth Programs Coordinator), who is an artist and educator with an interest of using art as a tool for social engagement by inviting friends, family, community members, arts organizations and their audiences to participate in her projects.
The production of this radio program provided OCAD students with the opportunity to develop their own strategies for forming an accessible social platform for youth engagement. They were responsible for co-instructing these digital literacy/agency workshops .
The primary goal within this classroom collaboration was to explore how students can use art and design practices as a lens to produce forms of social engagement. The students selected a thematic focus for each episode which acted as a pillar for the discussions they were mediating, these topics explored: food politics, indigenous histories, safe spaces, psychogeography, forms of social resilience, diasporic identities, digital agency, sustainability within marginalized communities, etc.