Thought for Friday

Atelier or artists studio

Atelier or artists studio

Back to the Future?

Recently over on Lynda Relph Knight’s Design Week Editor’s blog I came across this:

If a creative industries debate at the House of Commons this week is anything to go by, the Liberal  Democrat element of the coalition Government is in denial about 40 per cent cuts to education in the design sector.

Challenged from the floor by Seymour Powell’s own Dick Powell about the cuts, Lib Dem MP Don Foster, who co-chairs his party’s policy committee on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said he didn’t know what the D&AD chairman was talking about. It seems education budgets aren’t being slashed, just differently funded, if Foster is to be believed – funded, we assume, through the £9000 fee levy on students.

Lynda goes on to say:

Oh well, that’s okay then. We won’t be missing out on top creative talent any time soon, just because prospective newcomers have the wrong postcode or come from lowly stock financially, or educational institutions lack the wherewithal to support them. Tell that to the colleges currently making tough decisions about resources and courses.

From recent posts about internships and the current advertising on apprenticeships, I feel that maybe it’s time for something new (or rather old, very old in fact). What about a return to the ‘Atelier Method?”

The atelier system emerged around the seventeenth century and later became the most common method of training painters. The atelier system or method is a highly structured and systematic curriculum where, through practice in studio, skills were  passed on from tutor to student. Students must complete each task to the instructor’s satisfaction before progressing to the next. This system is referred to as “systematic progression” or “systematic teaching and learning.”


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