Little connection currently between design education and employment

design, a love rekindled « Spark

His view was that designers should work across the many different fields encompassed by the word – from product, to graphic, to architectural, to interaction design and so on. He was nervous about the growing interest in designers-as-strategists, arguing that the skills of product and service design should not be isolated from the more strategic design thinking. In many ways his view of things reminded me of the ambitions of the original Bauhaus for its students – that they would be ‘hands on and minds on’ – the two are not mutually exclusive – in fact, far from it, they are each reinforcing of the other.

We also talked about the fact that there is little connection currently between design education and employment opportunities for designers. Again, this had resonance with the old Bauhaus view (most recently brought out by Richard Sennett in The Craftsman) that rather than teachers and students, what we need are apprentices, journeymen, and masters. Learning should take place in the workshop, not the ivory tower. The joint employment of a design intern by the Social Innovation Lab in Kent and design studio Engine hints at how this might work in the future – however it is but one tiny example…

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