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Digital Mythologies: Staff Training Day

Staff training meeting

The first staff training meeting of the Digital Mythologies - Mythological Digitalities (DIMYMYDI) project was hosted by the Department of Graphic Design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.

The first day introduced the participants to the structure of the Graphic Design program - led by Gina Poortman - and also the Academy’s famous Fashion Department, where Creative Director, Brandon Wen, kindly provided a guided tour of the workshops and studios. This activity encouraged a stimulating discussion of the different pedagogical approaches across the DIMYMYDI partnership, a conversation that continued over the course of the two-day visit. The participants also visited the impressive Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) for wonderful views of the city and the Unesco World Heritage museum, Museum Plantin-Moretus, which provided a rich overview of the city’s printing history and legacy.

The second day provided an impressive introduction to the activities and outputs of both the MaxLab and the Immersive Lab, facilitated by Janna Beck and Kristof Timmerman. MAXlab – a research platform of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts – focuses on the interaction between art and digital technology and examines how digital techniques can expand the toolbox of the artist. Whereas The Immersive Lab – a research center of AP University College Antwerp – centralizes the expertise about immersive technologies (virtual, augmented and mixed reality, omnidirectional video and hologram). The work of both labs clearly demonstrated the huge potential of merging artistic and technological research, particularly in relation to public engagement.

Implementation of this research within the Graphic Design department was made visible by presenting the Bachelor 3 students assignment for the course of interactive design (tutored by Janna Beck) where stable diffusion AI-image generating was used as a graphic tool to create large scale projected spatial atmospheres. The day ended with a tour of the Royal Academy campus followed by the launch of the concert Aria!, a dissemination of the Maxlab research projects FRAMED and &CO, where live collaborative drawing and the music of John Cage, performed by the Royal Conservatoire, merged to provide an immersive experience.


This is a collaboration between:

  • The Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Katowice (ASP) in Poland, with Jakub Cikała and Justyna Szklarczyk-Lauer
  • The Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA) (Lithuania) with Marius Zalnevaricius
  • The Institute of Art, Design + Technology (IADT) (Ireland) with Linda King and Gerard Fox
  • Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture (Finland) with Tarja Nieminen and Markus Joutsela

Gina Poortman and Janna Beck from the hosting university, our very own Royal Academy of Fine Arts, take the lead in this project.