Saturday, September 28, 2013

Melodies for The Liquid Plain

The most recent piece in my series of profiles of Sound Designers is published in this month's Stage Directions Magazine.  Check out my profile of Victoria 'Toy' DeIorio and her work on the new play The Liquid Plain at Oregon Shakespeare Festival!  (It's on page 20).

Sunday, September 8, 2013

On women in male-dominated fields...

Last fall, I wrote a post for this blog about women in sound design. I talked a bit about the numbers gap between men and women, some of the root causes of the problem, and some of the ways that we try to address it at UCI.  That post got a lot of page views (over 1000, which is a huge amount for this blog), and it's led to many conversations and projects that I've been engaged in over the last year.

On a related note, the New York Times had a feature piece today about women and the Harvard Business School. HBS administrators had noticed that women entered the program with comparable test scores to their male counterparts, but once at school, fell behind academically. Also, the number of tenure and tenure-track women lagged significantly behind the men. HBS faculty decided to study and experiment to see if they could address and solve some of these issues.  They implemented a series of seminars, study methods, in-depth evaluations, quantitate studies, and other activities to measure and encourage stronger performance by women.

It's a fascinating article, full of nuance, disagreement, and marvelous stories. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Can Sound Design be taught online only?

The Designing Sound Blog posted a piece today about Edinburgh Napier University's new all-online Sound Design program. This is apparently the very first all-online Sound Design program, and it got me thinking about how successful one of these all-online programs could be.  Certainly, there are things that could be done quite easily in an all-online fashion - final projects for film & game courses, programming, technology research.

On the other hand, there are plenty of things that you can't get in an all-online program. The two biggest things for me are face-to-face relationships with your students/faculty (which, for me, is a vital part of how I teach), and the fertile environment of a design studio (where many students work in the same physical space). Neither of these things could be done in an all-online format, and I think they'd be a huge loss.

ENU, to its credit, is really aiming their new program at a very specific group of students: working professional engineers who want to move into design. The course of study involves turning those professional relationships into educational opportunities as well, and the program of study is classified as part-time.  So, if you've already got a professional career that you want to keep, this program might be of great use to you!

But, for me, I prefer teaching and working in meatspace, not cyberspace.