Should we be more honest?
I see a lot of design students' work, from foundation to graduation, and most of it isn't good enough to carry on our country's creative legacy. Maybe it's the tutors fault. Let's blame them. Or is it the students who are not pushing boundaries and challenging the way we solve problems in a new and innovative way?
The truth is we are turning out too many design graduates with only a small number getting work. The recession hasn't helped any graduates, but is it the way we prepare them for the real world at fault?
It has always worried me that art colleges are rapidly becoming universities. While I welcome academic status and a degree at the end of it, too much emphasis has been on revenue generation. instead we should start with skills our industry is looking for and how to best educate students to fill that need. It's the way we are structuring our design courses that needs questioning.They are run too much by administrators rather than people who understand our business.
..The art colleges are producing specialists too early in the student's development and what the industry is looking for is more of a "Renaissance man" approach...
Our industry needs more of the modern art of weaving creativity together, based on sound craft skills. For example drawing is disappearing from our skill base. It is not being taught as the fundamental basis to everything we do...
There is too much style over substance and a lack of great ideas. The idea that the late John Gillard had for a school of communication arts was ahead of its time, but is now so needed. The concept was like that of the Bauhaus, of different skill-based designers working together, which must be the future.
Our three year specialist degree course needs to become a three year Foundation course, allowing students to flourish, experimenting and making mistakes, to find new avenues of creativity. Designers who can deliver the big idea beautifully crafted, with multi disciplined applications of problem solving, will be our legacy to the economic upturn."
What do you think?
This is edited from an article by Glenn Tutssel Creative Director of the Brand Union published in November 09 Design Week.