My Cumulus PLUS+ Story by Sofía Beatriz Alamo

Representing Maimonides University, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Participated in the Cumulus Conference: “Around the campfire: resilience and intelligence”.
May 27 – June 1, 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland hosted by University of Lapland.

The activities which I enjoyed the most were the paper sessions about “The future of design teaching” and the working groups activities. The atmosphere created was more relaxed and fresh and it allowed us to exchange ideas and to give and receive feedback in a deeper way that we can usually do during a paper dissertation.

Meeting the Cumulus community has been one of my academic aims during the past years. As Multimedia Design teachers and researchers, my colleagues and I have been following the association activities for a while, considering the advantages of collaborating with its members. This is why as soon as we saw the call for papers for the conference at Rovaniemi, we realized it was an excellent opportunity to achieve the aforementioned goal.

The theme of the Conference 2019: Around the campfire: intelligence and resilience, as well as the main topics (such as Innovative Techniques, Methods and Theory and The Future of Design Teaching), which were deeply related to our last years fields of study, encouraged us to submit our proposal and to participate in the Cumulus Plus Programme. Becoming a grant-holder foreshadowed the amazing and welcoming experience I would soon be part of.

During the venue my expectations came true: every activity which I had the chance to attend offered an interesting and diverse point of view. Promptly, thanks to the quality of the three keynotes, the paper sessions and working groups, I became aware that the key to this event was to put into perspective the challenges of nowadays’ world and how we could tackle them from our field of studies as designers of varied backgrounds bringing together both our global understanding of common problems, without compromising our local points of view.

The activities which I enjoyed the most were the paper sessions about “The future of design teaching” (as my fields of study are closely related to this topic) and the working groups activities. The poster session was a very inspiring layout as well. The atmosphere created by these kinds of proposals was more relaxed and fresh and it allowed us to exchange ideas and to give and receive feedback in a deeper way that we can usually do during a paper dissertation.

Both Cumulus Association and Lapland University organizing committees did an excellent job. The volunteers were especially attentive and nice, all determined to help and resolve any questions the attendees would make. The facilities of the University of Lapland could not be more comfortable and appropriate for the hosting of such incredible amount of people, which favoured meetings and networking.

In addition, the city of Rovaniemi was an absolute delight and made the journey through the conference an out-of-the-world experience. I was thrilled by the midnight sun and the magical atmosphere that it promoted, while being surrounded by woods and lakes.

All in all, my experience at the conference was incredible and had wonderful outcomes. On the one hand I got to know new people and lecturers from all around the world who share my interests and views. On the other hand, I was pleased to meet some old friends and find out that they were part of this community as well. Furthermore, I had an excellent rapport with the grantees group. We had a wonderful meeting where we shared our experiences and we supported each other throughout the conference.

Every lecturer we met highlighted the importance of the network and even if they were new in the Association they encouraged us to apply for a membership. Everybody was pleased to help us and answer our questions and gave suggestions in order to make our next steps in the community. This realization made me understand how warm and friendly Cumulus’ network is.

What I believe the most important achievement that this conference allowed me to get was the possibility of strengthen the links between my home institution and other schools of design from Latin America and Spanish-speaking countries. Now I am working hard to continue in touch with them and collaborate with the Association. I am looking forward to meeting everybody again soon in the following events.

By
Sofía Alamo
Profesora Investigadora
Escuela de Comunicación y Diseño Multimedial
Universidad Maimónides, Buenos Aires, Argentina
alamo.sofia@maimonides.edu
Linkedin: in/sophiealamo/ | Academia.edu: /SophieAlamo
Teaching researcher in new media and digital culture at School of Communication Studies and Multimedia Design (Maimónides University) and teaching assistant at University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Fields of interest: social uses of technologies, digital methods in multimedia and social research, and university teaching based on transmedia game-designed learning projects.

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