Don’t mention BL _ _ KB _ _ _D!

What a week. SS RMIT was at full steam, full throttle. Monday saw us engaged with the NGV on a new Design Partnership project, hot on the heels of Shifting Gears, curated by the inimitable Harriet Edquist.

On Tuesday evening we launched the 12-storey-high light-show Urban Animators on the cliff-like walls of Buildings 10 and 12. It was quite a gig. 10 of the artists gathered around a giant red button in the SAB and at my command, we gave it such a push it nearly shot off down 2 flights of stairs!

Talking of red, at some bleak predawn hour, I was on air with Red Symons. No one warned me. I think I stayed on topic. At least I managed to mention RMIT eight times, art twice, and animation at least once.

Wednesday saw me in a double-act with the VC at Storey Hall, where Martin wowed the audience with a spontaneous riff on “what a user-centred online learning experience might look like”. It was as if he’d invented electricity. People went bonkers – nodding, whooping, clapping, standing up in spontaneous excitement… and that was before any drinks had been served.

As the week unfolded, we hosted a terrific inaugural lecture by Jago Dodson, where I embarrassed the DVCI by making everyone sing Happy Birthday to him. I am sure he said it was his birthday…

I then raced off to a British Council event at the Bowie exhibition. I may have sung Happy Birthday there too. Though no-one would have guessed as I was wearing one of those Ziggy face masks they were handing out. For a few delirious seconds you feel as though you look really cool. A tad difficult to sup your drink though.

Next day I had another stand-up, this time with the real Ziggy. Two hours at Council presenting an update on the rugged health of DSC.

Then the highlight of the week – a mass gathering in the Green Brain of the fabulous e-learning ninjas across RMIT. The topic was Disruptive E-learning. No tail lights to follow. No rules. Except one: Do not mention ‘Blackboard’. Call it anything you like – Bluebeard, Logi Baird, just don’t mention the dreaded B-word. Instead, fifty ninjas on a Friday focused on innovation and user-centredness, not the alleged constraints of current systems and God bless them, they broke some ground!

I closed my wacky week with a slot on ABC Radio National Drive-Time, trying to convince a rather skeptical Patricia Karvelas (an RMIT alumnus I later discovered) that the new Banksy event in the English seaside resort Dismaland would draw crowds in their tens of thousands. I said ‘Patricia, believe me, there’ll be queues around the block, or more likely all along the beach – it’ll look like the evacuation from Dunkirk…’ And never once did she mention BB, though she did wrap-up by calling me a ‘bigwig from RMIT’. Result!

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