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  • design & education

    is design education prepping students for the industry? this article seems so say yes, while providing some thoughts on changes desired. perhaps it's not design education, but education itself that needs some adjustment? if it's working skills we desire from our graduates, why are there not more cross-disciplinary classes and programs? without such courses, how will graduates understand design as a field of collaboration?

    a separate angle, though, is the broadening field of design and the separation of design tasks (writing code, building graphics, typesetting copy) within the system of design. should degrees be granted based on ones mastery of InDesign or AfterEffects? the ability to write code or develop a font family? for thinking outside a system or ability to lead collaborative discussions? all of these are parts of the design family, but all take a separate skill and each can lead to various levels of expertise.

    my wonder is if it's the growing number of specialties growing within design that needs to be addressed. licensure is a sticky subject (though i think i'm a fan of the idea). a great discussion occured on the topic in 2012.

    “The title ‘designer,’ rather than respected and understood, has become devalued and insignificant,” Pérez-Hemminger asserts. ”The tools we use, not our knowledge or expertise, have unfavorably defined our field. Design’s focus on problem-solving and creative thinking has been displaced as a needless expendability by the prevalent notion that anyone can do it.”

    i'm thinking of medical school students, who choose a specialty and can enter continuing programs to develop that specialty, learning from leaders in their field. could design move this direction as well? is there value in such?

    perhaps design education is not prepping students, perhaps it is. i studied Fine Arts (photography & printmaking), so i can't say how the education system for designers has changed over the years. i do konw, however, there are many successful in the field without degrees, many without degrees in design, and many without graduate degrees. there are many unsuccessful in the field with design education. this makes me think it's better for us to really discuss the purpose behind a design education before we can decide what is failing.