School of Visual Culture

In a recent study, research psychologists identified a correlation between optimism and cognitive ability. People with a positive disposition have, they discovered, better reasoning skills and better ability to deal with challenging situations. One of the defining features of life in an art and design school is the creative optimism that flows from the workshops, studios and classrooms. To make new works of art and design, and to research and to write creatively requires optimism for the future, especially when dark clouds seem to hang over our world.

The programmes in the School of Visual Culture at NCAD are rich reservoirs of creative optimism. Graduating students on our Visual Culture BA and on our Design History and Material Culture and Art in the Contemporary World postgraduate programmes bring a bright creativity to their work. Their investigations take a variety of forms – most often as texts but also as art works, podcasts and films too. Addressing diverse themes including gender politics, the effects of AI, sustainable materials, coloniality and many other topical matters, their work can be understood as encouragement to imagine the world differently.

David Crowley
Head of the School of Visual Culture