What is OSS?

Open Source Studio (OSS) is a collaborative, online software environment designed to meet the needs and dynamics of studio-based teaching in the media arts. The project was founded by Associate Professor of Networked Art Randall Packer of the School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University in 2013. OSS has been developed as a multi-site WordPress learning management system situated on the University network that integrates over 600 ADM student and class Websites. The software core of the OSS learning management environment is a custom WordPress plugin that powerfully aggregate student profiles, posts, media, and their metadata using standard WordPress taxonomies and authoring tools.

Since 2013, OSS has served undergraduate classes, final year projects, graduate research, and inter-institutional collaborations offering an online social space that encourages transparency and cooperative learning. OSS also incorporates live forms of remote teaching, critique, guest lectures, and online events via Web-conferencing using Adobe Connect. OSS is thus a multi-faceted set of Web tools that integrates physical classroom/studio space with the online environment for critical writing, documentation, research, portfolio development, Web-conferencing, online discussion, and the integration of social media.

The fluid, improvisatory nature of the artistic process is integral to the design of OSS, a virtual suite of studios that embraces the network as a medium of creative expression and new pedagogies. It enables interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and cross-cultural opportunities for faculty to explore networked collaborative classes and special projects that dissolve distance and geography. Conceived to emphasize the spirit of experimentation in art and design, OSS is a many-to-many exchange of knowledge and information required in studio-based teaching, amplified by the possibilities inherent in the network.