‘There are towns and areas in the UK where the public sector has collapsed, unemployment is very high and there is no access to any kind of creative skills training because Government doesn’t really support it, so that’s where we need to focus our workshop efforts.’
Neville Brody speaking about the new role of D&AD to Design Week
For more go here.
Many of the current generation of students seem to be motivated by social concerns. Where once their energies might have gone into designing CD covers and identities for cultural institutions, it is now commonplace to find students investigating ways in which design can drive social change. For me, this is the biggest single difference between today’s graduates and those from past years.
The above quote by Adrian Shaughnessy comes from his post over on Design Week as guest blogger. I urge you to read it.
Coincidentally, I’m Adrian’s book, How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul at the moment. An excellent book and one I would recommend to any designer or student of design.
Speaking of Design Week. I noticed it’s demise as a printed publication was mention over on David’s blog and I hope he doesn’t mind me quoting him when he says: I’m surprised that the demise of Design Week as a printed publication appears to have attracted so little comment out here in the blogosphere. Though I must admit that it’s a publication that it’s hard to feel any real affection for. But it was, nevertheless, a core component of being a designer these past 30 years.
I couldn’t agree more. There was something ‘detached’ and possibly aloof about Design Week. Nonetheless, it is a pity that there is no real substitute and in many ways I will miss it. I don’t believe it can survive in electronic form for long but I could be wrong. I will certainly read the free material on offer but I’m reluctant to pay for on-line content, especially when the likes of Design Observer exist.
“The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind — creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers.”
A whole new mind cover design
The words above are from Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind written back in 2005. But just what did become of the grand idea of a future in the hands of ‘Right Brainers’?
The Design Observer’s Helen Walters has just written a very interesting article outlining what went wrong. Here are just a few snippets to give you a taster…
For one thing, at a very basic level, business school isn’t designed for design. The “I speak, you listen” podium format and the theatrical tiered-seating of traditional academia is the diametric opposite of the design school process of all-hands-on-desk, of creating multiple prototypes and collaborating actively.
Design school leaders, in turn, need to educate graduates who can speak the language of business with at least some fluency.
Some design schools seem to promote suspicion of the business world as an unspoken matter of course.
For the complete article go here. It really is well worth reading.
A portrait of Walter Gropius
I wanted to write a longer post on Walter Gropius today but time and events have conspired against me and this is going to have to be brief. I hope to write a little more another day covering a wonderful exhibition of Bauhaus material in Manchester a number of years ago.
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.
For more go here.
Walter Gropius House 1938
For more on the Walter Gropius House go here.
Impington Village College is the only building designed by Gropius in the UK.
Impington Village College 1939
Impington Village College is a remarkable achievement and influenced the design of school buildings in subsequent generations. Designed by Walter Gropius and Maxwell Fry it was later described by Pesvener as one of the best buildings of its date in England, ‘if not the best’
For more information on Impington go here.
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.”
Work for free flowchart
Internships, or can working for free ever be a good thing?
Recently, over on David’s blog, Alix (guest blogger) raised the interesting subject of unpaid internships in the design industry. This excellent post produced a number of comments, among them one from David Airey who covered the subject in his own blog. His experience was a good one and I urge you read his post.
It’s the trade-off between the experience gained and the amount of their time (and talent) the intern gives that makes this subject such a difficult one.
Perhaps the design industry as whole should take the subject of unpaid internships more seriously. The agreement between the design firm and the student works fine when the both parties treat each other with respect and behave professionally. But there’s another issue. With rising student debt levels and the lack of suitable jobs to help students supplement their income while working for free in a design agency, are we as an industry satisfied that only the more affluent students will be able to take up any places on offer?
A brilliant and amusing flowchart over on Swissmiss by Jessica Hische gives some valuable guidance to anyone considering an internship.
(Written using OmmWriter Beta version)
Telling lies to the young is wrong.
Proving to them that lies are true is wrong.
The young know what you mean. The young are people.
Tell them the difficulties can’t be counted,
And let them see not only what will be
But see with clarity these present times.
I found this in Victor Papanek’s Design for the real world. Chapter 11, The neon blackboard. For the book go here.
It seemed appropriate.