Air It Podcast’s Nicolene Burger and Jana Vosloo recently spoke to our fulltime BA Visual Communication degree students about the connection between creative thinking, practical output, and visual studies theory. Thanks to our BA lecturer, Marnell Kirsten, for organising this!

As they show in this video – to the eye that does not look with creativity, a cup is just a cup. Visual studies theory aims to open such an untrained eye to understand all the various other and much more interesting and critical ways in which the cup may be understood. This includes the materiality, distribution, uses, and considers the producers and users of the cup, or any other visual cultural product. 

Red & Yellow believes that creativity is the currency of the future. However, combining a logical understanding of human behaviour with this creativity is what sets individuals and organisations apart. Visual studies – a critical thinking subject in our BA Visual Communications degree – is defined as the visual focus of the distinguished academic field of cultural studies. At Red & Yellow, we not only intuitively understand this combination, but center our approach to teaching and learning the subject around this vital junction. 

Human behaviour and experience is expressed by means of culture. Thus, creative visual studies research and teaching helps to shed light on the visual manifestations of human behaviour, and the contexts in which this plays out. Understanding this is why Visual studies is a prominent part of our degree programme, as students learn to think critically about their practical output and make creative connections between points of theory and the visual work they produce. 

So while some argue about whether the cup is half empty or half full, in visual studies we understand that this argument is merely a matter of the viewer’s position in relation to the cup! 


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