“The most important ingredients for coping with postnormal times, I would argue, are imagination and creativity. Why? Because we have no other way of dealing with complexity, contradictions and chaos.” 1
In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we are certainly living in a “postnormal” moment. As schools move to distance learning, companies move to working remotely, and people everywhere are left trying to find a way to navigate daily life without leaving home, we need creativity now more than ever. We have already seen health professionals running low on essential supplies creating DIY masks and gowns out of materials bought at craft stores.
“The kind of futures we imagine beyond postnormal times would depend on the quality of our imagination.” 1
Limitations have always spurred artists and designers to think outside the box, and we have already witnessed a tremendous resilience and capacity for imagination within the PCA community.
If what we have seen so far is any indication, our students give us hope that once we emerge from this darkness, the future they have imagined for us will be brighter and richer for the creativity they are being asked to demonstrate now.
With that in mind, we will be using this page to share updates on what is happening in PCA’s Virtual Campus.
1 Z. Sardar, Welcome to Postnormal times, Futures 42 (5) (2010) 435–444.
Listen to a talk by PCA Professor Emeritus Donald Potard speak about:
- Cardin to Castelbajac: Style in French Fashion:
- Gaultier to Louboutin: Style & Strategy in French Fashion
TED Talk by French street artist JR
One of the challenges of not being able to leave the house is working out where to get your art supplies from! For those who do most of their work digitally, Adobe is giving cloud access for free until the end of May.
If you are feeling creative then you should try making your own art supplies using this great workshop from Chair of Fine Arts, Véronique Devoldère.
The internet is full of great ideas on how to create your own materials, like these flower petal paints, so make the most of your creative capacities and get experimenting!
It is still possible to order online for delivery from some places, Le Géant des Beaux-Arts has some great offers on at the moment. Depending on what you are looking for you can also find essentials from hardware stores, available for delivery or pick-up.
If you have your own methods you would like to share with other students let us know.
Learning at a Distance
While learning at a distance presents a particular challenge that requires self-motivation, imagination and commitment, it also provides particular benefits that include a stronger sense of independence, self-determination and self-knowledge. Here are some suggestions that may help your transition easier.
- Wake up and go to bed on a regular schedule
- Bathe, eat, and dress yourself everyday
- Set up a timetable for your week
- Wash your hands frequently
- Organize a work-space at home where you can access your materials
- Take frequent breaks from your technology and the media
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly
- Include deep-breathing and calming exercises in your day
- Turn your cell phone off for the duration of the class or work session
- Organize your week so that different slots of time are allocated for study
- Tell family members and friends when you are working
- Make a to-do list for the week
- Support your classmates; create “accountability” teams where you encourage your colleagues to work hard and finish their projects
- Keep pencil and paper at your disposal to record your notes/questions/comments especially when you are not online
- Reach out to your department Chair when in doubt
- Set up a daily schedule that is realistic and that you can follow to stay on track
- Remember to eat healthy food and drink lots of water
- Be patient and kind with yourself as your work and study patterns evolve
- Experiment with the use of a timer if you are struggling with distractions
- Use visualization and relaxation techniques to manage stress Find a relaxation exercise here.
- Discuss boundaries, needs, and expectations with your family and friends
COVID-19: Current Directives
The French President spoke to the nation on March 18th and announced further restrictions on physical interaction, intended to slow down the spread of the virus and thereby help health care professionals deal with patients without being overwhelmed. A transcription of his allocution can be found here in French.
If you are in France we urge you to respect these new measures and to stay at home. If you go out, you must carry a note justifying why you are leaving your house (grocery shopping, trip to the pharmacy or doctor, exercise, etc.). Members of staff are happy to guide you. Blank forms can be found here, but you can also write it by hand.
If you are feeling ill please contact your general practitioner and do not call the emergency number 15 unless you have severe respiratory symptoms.
If you don’t already have a general practitioner you can find a doctor in your area or one who can consult by phone on Doctolib. In the search section you can filter on doctors who speak Englsih.
If you are looking to travel back to your home country, contact your country’s consulate for the latest update on travel restrictions. Although there are restrictions on non-essential travel, the possibility for foreign nationals to return to their home country remains. Please continue to reach out to us with questions and simply to stay in touch, we are here to support you.
"Why Should Universities Promote Creativity?" By Klaus Fruchtnis, Associate Dean of Graduate StudiesHigher Education for the New Decade: The Virtual Conversation by Professors Without Borders