Open Source Studio (OSS), a project founded and directed by Visiting Associate Professor Randall Packer of the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University, is a collaborative, online software environment designed to meet the needs and dynamics of studio-based teaching in the media arts. OSS has been developed as a prototypical multi-site WordPress content management system situated on the School’s network. In its initial incubator development, OSS has served undergraduate courses, Final Year Project (FYP) groups, graduate research, and collaborative projects offering an online social space that encourages transparency and cooperative learning. The project also incorporates live forms of remote teaching, critique, guest lectures, and online events via Web-conferencing using Adobe Connect.
Open Source Studio is thus a multi-faceted set of Web tools that integrates physical classroom/studio space with the online environment for critical writing, media documentation, portfolio presentation, online conferencing, asynchronous discussion, and social media. The fluid, improvisatory nature of the artistic process is integral to the design of OSS, a virtual “studio of the future” that embraces the network as a medium of creative expression and new pedagogies. It enables interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and cross-cultural opportunities for faculty to explore networked collaborative courses and special projects that dissolve distance and geography. Conceived to emphasize the spirit of experimentation in art and design, OSS is a many-to-many exchange of knowledge and information required in studio-based teaching, amplified by the possibilities inherent in the network.