14 December 2020 at 9:00 am

LINK Symposium connects academics

Brazilian and New Zealand academics had the chance to share ideas on practice-based modes of enquiry this month, thanks to a virtual conference organised by AUT and Brazil’s University Anhembi Morumbi and supported by Education New Zealand.

Art and design researchers tune into the LINK Symposium, both in-person at AUT and online. Photo by Nivea Ferreira, AUT.

The second iteration of the LINK Symposium was held on 27 and 28 November. It was originally slated to take place in São Paulo, but was moved online in response to COVID-19.

LINK invited art and design practitioners to be inspired by research methodologies that centre their practice. Presenters demonstrated the potential of their practical frameworks in a range of design topics, including emergent design, design education, and Pacific-Atlantic design.

AUT Programme Leader for Communication Design, Prof Marcos Mortensen Steagall, said “the LINK symposium promotes opportunities for academics from Brazil and New Zealand not only to expand their knowledge about state-of-the-art practice-oriented methodologies in design research, but also to establish networks of collaboration and partnerships. For instance, Brazil can benefit from the way New Zealand incorporates Māori knowledge in their research practices, acknowledging their native traditions.

“New Zealand can learn and benefit from top-level production practices and Brazil's over 150 million users in the gaming market. It starts with academic interests that can potentially be expanded into business opportunities.”

University Anhembi Morumbi Prof Sergio Nesteriuk, who specialises in game design with interests in animation, film and transmedia, said: “The event exceeded all our expectations both for the quantity, quality and diversity of works presented, as well as for the exchange and engagement of all participants.

“We were also honoured to have Education New Zealand's support on this issue. This allows us to project new growth for the event next year, consolidating it as one of the main ones in this area worldwide.”

ENZ Director of Education - Brazil, Ana Azevedo, spoke at the opening.

“This is a significant development for the academic relations between Brazil and New Zealand and it is very positive to see it happening in areas that are so valuable to our cultures like Art and Design.

“New Zealand and Brazil have many shared research interests, including an affinity for practice-based modes of enquiry and pedagogy. I am very pleased that the LINK Symposiums have carved out a niche for Brazilian and New Zealand academics to connect,” she said. 

International academic cooperation is aligned with the goals of the IES and can bring mutual benefits to New Zealand and partners around the world, developing better solutions for common challenges. Education New Zealand has supported other international cooperation activities as the Tripartite Partnership Fund with China and the joint call for research mobility with the São Paulo Research Foundation in Brazil (FAPESP).

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