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University of the Arts London

The cathartic function of drawing where you shouldn't


The online learning environment is commonly described in spatial and geographical terms, being treated like a landscape or ecology itself, a space in which learning activities occur. While useful for framing virtual learning environments (VLEs), such broad comparisons also appear reductive, excluding fringe or contested practices. The author comments on how the doodling activity of students in online spaces during the pandemic resonates with graffiti art that exists in the exterior environment. The aesthetic practice of graffiti, when applied in digital learning spaces, offers a method of reterritorializing VLEs and catharising learning spaces for both students and staff. 


Author Biography

Graeme Spurr

Graeme Spurr is an Academic Support Lecturer at London College of Fashion and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.