Log from my Erasmus Exchange:

Devine / Howest
Kortrijk, Belgium – November 2022

About Howest and Devine

Howest is situated in Kortrijk in Belgium. It is a university with several IT-related programmes. I visited Devine:

Digital design and development (Devine) is a unique 3-year bachelor programme at KASK Conservatory school of arts of HOGENT and Howest in Kortrijk (Belgium).” (source)

Green screen studio – one of the largest in Belgium

The university has several it-related educations. For instance I was introduced to several IT programmes, such as:

During the exhange I met the Academic Director Klaus Delanghe, theachers, students and the international manager from Howest and Devine. All of this was was coordinated by Wouter Verweirder.

This kind robot greets you at the entrance to Howest.

Impressions from Kortrijk


Vis større kort

The marker shows the location of Devine in Kortrijk. The name of the building is the “Budafactory”. It’s situated on the lovely historical island Buda.

Class I:
Swift

Today I was invited to follow four classes. The first class in the morning was an introduction to Swift..

The class was preparing for passion studies and their BA thesis.

In this phase of the studies the students are introduced to several programming languages.

So this week Swift was on the menu.

In Swift you can create apps for Mac OS – anything ranging from apps on the iPhone to tablets or laptops.

After the introduction to the programming language the students followed a live coding session.

At the programme the students must own a Macbook. Therefore native apps for Mac is a logical option.

Students working on the Swift assignment.

Class II:
Craft CMS

The next class was an introduction to the Craft CMS.

It is made in PHP and similar to the code you’ll find behind the stage in e.g. WordPress. But the installation seems more complex.

In the class the students were guided through a tutorial where the CMS was configured.

In Craft you have to define classes and sections and whether they should behave as single pages or blogs.

The CMS can be configured to any need. You can create templates for the views in the twig templating language.

According to the lecturer the Craft learning curve is somewhat steep, however the bright international class managed to get their system up and running.

These students came from all over Europe: Poland, Iceland, Finland, Italy and more countries. Since I also teach international students in Denmark it was really nice to meet this class.

TheCraft CMS dashboard
Fields in Craft.
Creative Arduino Project by a student displayed in the main hall of Devine. After years the prototype still works.

Class III:
Mobile Web Design

The third class focussed on design. Again I was allowed to follow feedback on a design assingment.

The students worked in Figma. Certain design assets were handed out before the class. But the students were allowed to improvise.

Each student got feedback about the pros and cons of their work. Just listening to this feedback was rewarding:

  • How to set good text margins on small devices.
  • How to use images in full width.
  • About good font sizes when you work on mobile.
  • Color contrasts – what works and the contrary.

Now and then the students elaborated on their ideas. This lecture gave fine didactic inspiration to exercises and hand ins with Figma.

Class IV:
UX Research 3

Again I followed the international class. This day was dedicated to UX research. The students were asked to write notes from a personal event. These data should be organized, and they sought for patterns in the raw data. So the notes had to be organized.

Student work: stick it notes. Thanks for the permission to show this.

According to the double diamond the personal data is “primary research”.

This was followed by a lecture on the subject “secondary research” or desk research in articles and so on.

The students learned how to read many articles fast: “Look for a summary, sift through the article’s illustrations and just read what you relly need.”

The teacher made the students reflect in mutual online spaces, for on wooclap.com. The class shared notes, and they could vote when the teacher had questions. In this way the students were not just passive listeners – they contributed to the mutual knowledge base in the classroom. This class ended with the subject of good academic behaviour towards sources, how to use sources in a paper and how to add lists of sources.

The 1302 Exhibition

The Battle of the Golden Spurs, Kortrijk – source Wikipedia.

In a church nearby the hotel there is a magnificent multimedia exhibition about the famous battle at Kortrijk. The installation was made by almuni from Howest.

At Devine the caretaker in the 3D-lab told me that he was one of the keepers of the towers. And that the name of one of the streets was golden spurs – because of the many spurs taken from the slaughtered french knights in 1302.

The exhibition is all about that battle. In the curch the ceiling and windows are used for projections. Don’t miss this if you’re in Kortrijk!

Because of copyright issues I’ll just link to Googles pictures from this multimedia event in Our Lady’s Church.

Images from the Knights Chapter in Our Lady’s in Kortrijk. During the multimedia projections the shutters are closed.

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