Design / education

  • Started
  • Last post
  • 13 Responses
  • Beardy

    Yo QBN peeps, lend me your ears....

    I'm doing a presentation for a lecturer position and have been set the following question as part of the interview process:

    " Can you describe how your teaching can help students 'get great jobs'. What initiatives would you develop to support students in their future skills and describe a module you would like to develop to allow your impact in Interior Design, the school and University to be best felt".

    Heavy-going stuff but I figured that being in the creative industry and (probably) having come through some form of design education - you guys might have some good thoughts on what could be done better?

    Put it this way, if you were looking to employ a bunch of students tomorrow, what boxes would they need to tick (asides from damn good coffee..)? How can education arm these students better to help you guys and push the industry forward?

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts

    PS Try to keep the smut to a minimum
    PPS Unless its really funny..

  • uan2

    Teach them to read and write correctly.

    Show them old design stuff they don't know from the internet (dribl and such).

    • +1 on the read/write correctly.skwiotsmith
    • ^ more and more I find this to be not so important today as it had been. I see Execs who have horrible grammar.bklyndroobeki
    • Doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for it. Also nothing worse than getting a job applicant who can't spell.skwiotsmith
    • Especially if they misspell “designer.”skwiotsmith
    • Totally agree that that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for perfect grammar. It just seems like it doesn't matter as much today.bklyndroobeki
  • microkorg2

    Real world experience and a hunger and passion for what they do.

    Back when I was at art college (graphic design & multimedia) there were was a bunch of us in the class who would spend their spare time 3D modelling, Building stuff in Director (before Flash!), doing Flyers for mates, little freelance jobs. Lived and breathed design.
    I was offered a job at the top web design agency in the country even before I'd graduated based on my portfolio of mostly 'self' work. We were the group that got the higher results and the better jobs for leading companies.

    That's the kind of person I'd employ.

    I'd say my peers were just as much an influence on my work as my tutors were. We all pushed each other, almost trying to outdo each other. Surround yourself with likeminded individuals with similar interests. When we learned new things we shared with each other - this happens a lot more worldwide now with people doing YT tutorials on software etc.

    We had guys coming in from the 'real world' teaching us how to use some of the software because the lecturers were old skool typographers and designers. Really got to learn a lot from these guys.

    Follow your gut. Do what YOU want to do!
    At college I was really influenced by Neville Brody, Tomato, Attik and the likes and was knocking out stuff like that. When it came to very classical typography briefs I was really f*cking things up and going experimental - that didn't go down too well with the old skool typography lecturer but I was doing what I wanted to do and pushing boundaries not just conforming.

    • I still have those first Attik books. They were out of this world at that time. Great stuff.formed
    • I had an interview at Attik London about getting an internship at their NY office as I was potentially getting a bursary to do something like that ...microkorg
    • ... sadly the bursary never ended up happening but they did give me a free book :)microkorg
  • skwiotsmith0

    What microkorg said. The best portfolios I've seen are the ones where students show work that goes beyond the classroom.

  • Calderone20000

    - teach them critical thinking and problem solving. Design is always about solving some sort of problem for a client.
    - 'flipped classroom' approach: let the students learn the software at home (you can't beat on this) and focus on their creative problems in the classroom. What they make with the software is more important than mastering the software itself.
    - communication skills and presentation skills are important
    - students have to learn to be selfregulating
    - etc...

  • formed3

    Never stop learning. Software is easy, there will always be someone more proficient, new releases, etc. Show me a desire to get better and always challenge yourself.

    Study your peers. Know who is the best in your industry. Study them until you understand why they are the best. Look for inspiration every day. Build a never ending library of inspiration, studies and never think you have reached the pinnacle. That cannot be achieved. Learn to love the process, engage it, look for ways to challenge what and how you think.

    If you want to make something, make it. Personal projects will always allow for more freedom and, potentially, bring you to new heights. Follow through and complete it, move on, evaluate later and grow.

    If I sat down with someone and asked who they admired and they didn't have a solid list of personal favorites I would never hire them. I want to see their eyes light up when they talk about how that Attik book from 18+ years ago ignited a hunger and passion in them. I want to hear how they look for new inspiration, how they keep hungry.

    Show me process, show me how you can communicate your thoughts and reasoning. If there is no process there is little chance to critique and evolve - it's just a "I like it or I don't". You need more depth to grow.

    Lastly, understand business. Money is truly what makes the world go round. Understand how business intersects with design. Understand how they relate, how good design does matter and can mean better pay.

    Lastly, demonstrate good work ethic. Show how you will always show up on time, always do what you say you are going to do. Too many are so damn complacent and lazy.
    If you show me passion and work ethic I'll know you can learn anything you need to and always strive to get better.

  • Beardy0

    Amen to all that!

  • Beardy0

    Sorry to shamelessly push this back up the board but i'd be keen to get a few more thoughts / comments on this.

    Did a fair bit of reading over the weekend about emerging technologies for creatives, working within multi-discipline teams etc. but actually.....if you don't know how stuff actually goes together then it probably ain't worth shit? What I mean is, as a designer you could be ultra-hot but if you don't understand the process of taking from screen to reality then it'll all fall flat?

    Yes / no...?

    • I disagree. You get great "Ideas People" and as long as there's a team of "know hows" along with them then all is good.microkorg
    • It's a blurry distinction. You need to know enough to work together. Like an architect and an engineer is an ideal example. A building needs both.formed
    • I take part of that long as the idea guy is so great that he can afford a 'work it out' team, you can blur that line further.formed
  • robthelad0

    Teach them the simple design concepts they can apply to any task.

    White Space - Why Not?
    Grid Systems - Yes or No?
    Colour, Contrast, Context - See the connection?
    Balance of structure, visual weight and arrangement - Create Harmony or Chaos?
    Scale and Proportions - Are they related?
    Design Hierarchy - Did you see what you're supposed to?
    Visual Language - Could you create an Icon?

  • Morning_star0

    Teach them some reality.

    Teach them how to deal with rejection.
    Teach them how to be ruthless.
    Teach them not to give anything away for free.
    Teach them that everyone they meet thinks they are a designer/copywriter/art director etc.
    Teach them how to tolerate people who have no talent or experience but just 'know' someone.
    Teach them that for ALL their talent and experience the client will always prevail. Always.
    Teach them that the are NOT artists.

  • Beardy0

    Great comments.....kinda feels there's very much a graphic bent to them but all still relevant. I'm looking at it from an interiors POV, hence my question on knowing how to take stuff from a screen through to reality.

    I mean, we can all imagine some crazy stuff but if we've no inkling as to how it'll be made its pointless, right? I get there are always folks that can make the impossible, possible but lets be honest - that's not real life.

    I can count on no fingers the amount of times I've worked on a project where the designer has pretty much washed their hands after putting the concept together then left it for others to sort / make / produce...

  • formed0

    What do you mean "washed their hands" of it? I don't know any id or architect that leaves the process until it is physically built. The team might switch if there's a top exec that designed it, but generally the lead designer will see it all the way through and manage the production team (for the drawings/specs/construction admin).

    I am architect and my business works with id's all the time. The architect produces the construction docs for their part, the id produces their parts, engineer, their part, etc.

    If you are talking about spec'ing custom furniture, of course they won't be the ones actually making the furniture.

    I am not sure what you are asking now....

    • and this is a graphic oriented forum, so.....if you want arch/id try Archinectformed
  • Beardy0

    What I mean is (and bear in mind it's educating students we're talking about here).. should there be a greater emphasis on teaching students (and specifically I mean interior design students), core construction / fabrication skills so they understand better what they're designing?
    For example, should they be doing a six week internship with a fit-out company or fabricators tobetter understand the impact of what they're asking others to create?

  • formed0

    I think it's always helpful to have some basic understanding of the construction/manufacturing process. It's varied, though. Understanding how someone hand crafts a piece of wood furniture is very different than Knoll building a new chair. Or even computer aided things like lasers, water jets, and cnc'ing is very different.

    Their education should expose them to all of the above, though. The id's I was in school with had the same classes until the 3rd year (they got of required grad school, though). They will have to know how to put drawings together, specs, etc., to work in the profession.

    I don't think a "greater emphasis" is needed. Being a good designer and creating great spaces has little to do with details like this. I would always emphasize being a better designer (which requires a good school and good professors, you can't teach yourself or learn that later - everything else you can learn later/on the job, etc.).

    • ...interesting; so to bring it back to my original query; what would you like to see students being taught / how could it be better?Beardy
    • Good design and Business. The latter is the easy part. They need to understand every decision involves money. What value does good design bring?formed