Title of Paper

Mindfulness and Animation



This paper reports on a research project at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, that investigates whether the repetitive, haptic procedures and collaborative processes of drawn animation could be combined with mindfulness meditation techniques to develop ecological awareness, attention regulation, resilience, focus and concentration skills in art and design students.

Faced with a complex and uncertain future, art and design graduates need to be able to take responsibility for their personal development and respond to stress and change in generative and constructive ways. During the research process, a series of experiential activities and workshops were devised to explore the development of a group of capacities identified in a number of published sustainability literacy frameworks (Dawe 2005, Sterling, 2012; Villiers-Stuart and Stibbe, 2009), in particular, the attributes of personal resilience, self-awareness, ecological intelligence and interconnectedness through, for example, systemic and relational thinking and making. The project looks at the potential of short-form mindfulness meditation practices in combination with repetitive mark making and drawn animation for developing these and associated attributes.

Sitting within wider developments in UK Higher Education that seek to enable students to engage meaningfully with the affective and extra-rational dimensions of learning, the paper will report on this ongoing work which has been developed as a collaboration between MA Character Animation and Academic Support at the University.



mindfulness, meditation, drawn animation, markmaking



Following an early career in commercial property as a Chartered Surveyor, Graham switched to parallel careers in performing arts, as a musician/producer, and Higher Education, the latter specialising in English for Academic Purposes and Learning Development. His educational interests have emerged from these personal transformations, and through finding ways to draw on educational theories as vehicles to help learners engage with transformative learning. Areas of pedagogic research interest include academic study as creative practice, contemplative practices for self-enquiry in learning, threshold concepts and practices, disciplinary discourses, 3-dimensional concept mapping and other creative methodologies for developing student systemic and epistemic cognition.





Contact Information:

Graham Barton

Academic Co-ordinator for UAL’s Cross-University Academic Support programme 

University of the Arts London


Phone: +44 (0) 20 7514 6189