Web3 basics: Blockchain technologies serving the creative and cultural industries

Understanding and seizing the opportunities of blockchain technologies (cryptocurrencies, NFT, DAO, etc.) in the field of art and design.

NFTs (“Non-Fungible Tokens”), i.e. unforgeable and decentralised digital certificates, appeared in 2017 and were made famous for their use in the art world. Although they are now in the media spotlight, they are only one element of a much broader technological movement, crystallised under the marketing-sounding term “Web3,” which includes a monetary system (Bitcoin), an economic system (DeFI), a property system (NFT), a governance system (DAO) and an identity system (DID) all at once.

These technologies are difficult to understand for a non-expert public and in particular for art and design professionals, who struggle to see any value in them, since blockchain is often reduced to speculation or pollution issues. However, on closer inspection, the Web3 ecosystem offers new economic models and value chains that allow us to glimpse potentially less centralised and more redistributive relationships with creation.

Target audience
This course is primarily aimed at people who are familiar with the fields of art and/or design and who wish to strengthen their professional integration in fields related to emerging technologies. 
This short course, which centres on creative professions, is complementary to the “Blockchain and Finance” CAS offered by the School of Management and in which the two HEAD teachers also feature.

Targeted skills
This course aims to identify the potential of blockchain technologies for the creative fields in order to better understand this emerging field and to anticipate future challenges.
- Knowledge of the main principles of Web3.
- Understanding the basics of how Bitcoin and Ethereum work.
- Ability to understand the potential of the economic models enabled by these technologies.
- Ability to situate their creative practices in this environment.
- Ability to formalise the design of a Web3 service or product.

No prerequisites.

Teaching methods
Case studies, practical workshops

Certificate of Continuing Education

2 ECTS credits

Practical information
From13.04.2024 until 04.05.2024
Language: French
Course format:  programme management, case studies and practical workshops
Fee : CHF 1,200/HEAD – Genève alumni CHF 900
Location: Campus HEAD, Building H, Room H – 4.01, Av. de Châtelaine 7, 1203 Geneva

Information and registration/admission
Contact: fc.head@hesge.ch 
Follow this link to regsiter
General terms and conditions

Module Heads:

Guillaume Helleu

Guillaume Helleu is an architect, Web3 strategist and research associate at HEAD – Genève. After having worked several years in China, he is now based in Geneva. He began studying the socio-political and economic aspects of blockchain technologies in 2017. Since then he has been analysing these issues in courses, articles and lectures. In 2022 he co-founded Hint3rland, a creative studio for the decentralised world in which his activity is mainly focused on Web3 strategy and storytelling with large corporations. 

Anthony Masure 

Anthony Masure is associate professor and Head of Research at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève, HES-SO). His work focuses on the social, political and aesthetic implications of digital technologies for design, with a recent focus on the challenges of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. He co-founded the research journals Back Office and Réel-Virtuel. He is the author of the essay Design et humanités numériques (ed. B42, 2017). 


Programme & agenda 2023 - 8 half-days 

After a series of introductory lectures on the challenges of blockchain technologies and their implications for art and design, participants are invited to conceptualise a service or product in relation to their own practices.

#1 – Friday 22 September 2023 from 2pm to 5:30pm
Introduction: Presentation of the course and of a list of resources
Lecture: Countercultures of digital technologies
Lecture: History of money

#2 – Saturday 23 September 2023 from 9am to 12:30pm
Lecture: How Bitcoin works
Technical workshop: Demonstration of trading platforms

#3 –Friday 29 September 2023 from 2pm to 5:30pm
Lecture: Ethereum and the age of Web3
Lecture: New creation economies

#4 – Saturday 30 September 2023 from 9am to 12:30pm
Technical workshop: Getting started with a Web3 Wallet and decentralised login

#5 – Friday 6 October 2023 from 2pm to 5:30pm
Lecture: Towards autonomous and decentralised organisations
Lecture: Rethinking digital identities 

#6 – Saturday 7 October 2023 from 9am to 12:30pm,
Project presentation: CryptoKit, a free visual guide to the blockchain
Technical workshop: Formalising a Web3 service using CryptoKit 

#7 – Friday 13 October 2023 from 2pm to 5:30pm
Technical workshop: Formalising a Web3 service 

#8 – Saturday 14 October 2023 from 9am to 12:30pm
Creation workshop: Oral presentations of the projects, critical discussion, evaluation of the course