On Making: Learning as Artefact – Professor Andrew Brewerton
Our Professorial lecture series launched with 'On Making: Learning as Artefact', a free public lecture from Professor Andrew Brewerton that was given in The Box at the end of 2022. Held in recognition of Andrew’s appointment as the first Professor Emeritus at Arts University Plymouth, the lecture reflects on the concept of making as intrinsic to human learning, within and beyond an educational context.
Professor Brewerton said: “It was my privilege to lead Plymouth College of Art as Principal through more than a decade of significant transformation, and a successful application for university title as Arts University Plymouth.
“Every decision we made during that time was aimed at creating the richest, most diverse ecosystem of materials, processes, technologies, ideas, practices and influences for education in contemporary art, craft, design and media that you might find in the shape of an Art School, in spite of the prevailing orthodoxies that continue remorselessly to drive education policy and funding decisions. It remains a purposeful attempt at making something new, in and for Plymouth – a city brimming with potential and opportunity.”
“The proposition of my lecture is simply enough that, within and beyond the education context, making is as important as reading and writing, as science and maths. Making is the signature of our species, our mark upon the face of the earth in an age we call the Anthropocene.”
‘On Making: Learning as Artefact’ was our first free public lecture since being granted full university status in May 2022, becoming the city of Plymouth’s only dedicated arts university. The full event was captured on film, including introductions from our Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Stephen Felmingham, and Arts University Plymouth Governor Dr Ian Tunbridge OBE, plus a question and discussion session after the lecture.
Professor Andrew Brewerton delivers his inaugural lecture at The Box, Plymouth
The public series of lectures and events is designed to celebrate the significant milestone of a member of the Arts University Plymouth community achieving the title of Professor. These free public events give new professors an opportunity to share research and other academic achievements in their creative field, broadening the impact and value of their work, inviting collaboration and giving back to staff, students and friends of Arts University Plymouth.
Professor Andrew Brewerton served as Principal & Chief Executive of Arts University Plymouth (then known as Plymouth College of Art) from 2010 until his retirement from the institution in 2021, following a 27-year career in Higher Education. He led the University’s 2014 transfer into the HE sector and the award of taught degree awarding powers in 2019, and under his leadership, its learning environment, campus workshop and studio facilities underwent a significant transformation. Key institutional partnerships were developed including Tate Exchange, the British Council’s Crafting Futures programme and FutureLab in Shanghai, and the university’s biennial Making Futures symposium extended to invitation editions at Beijing Design Week, at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea and in the Philippines.
A former Principal of Dartington College of Arts, and Dean of Art & Design and Professor of Glass at the University of Wolverhampton, Andrew is an English graduate of Cambridge University and from 1984 worked for a decade in glass crystal manufacturing, for five years in production at Stuart Crystal and then as head of design and development at Dartington Crystal. He has held international academic appointments at the Università dell’Aquila, Italy, as Distinguished Professor at Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, and as Visiting Professor at the School of Fine Arts at Nanjing Normal University.
Professor Brewerton was founding Chair of Governors and Director of Trustees of the Plymouth School of Creative Arts (2012-19) and has served on numerous national bodies including the National Council of Arts Council England, the Creative Industry Federation’s UK Advisory Council, and was Vice-Chair of the Prime Minister’s Initiative (PMI2) for International Education. An English graduate of the University of Cambridge, he is a poet and writer on contemporary visual art and education.