The State of Design Education in Nova Scotia

The State of Design Education in Nova Scotia | Brightwhite Design

I am extremely interested in all aspects of the design profession, from how it’s taught to how it is practiced, especially as it relates to online or ‘new’ media.

It seems that our local educational institutions are largely out-of-touch with the skills, design processes and requirements of the the interactive industry as a whole. Through the teaching that I have done at NSCAD, I’ve tried to bring a standards-based approach to the classes I’m putting together, but this isn’t the norm across all of the Universities and Colleges found locally. Recently, May Chung (a tenured professor at NSCAD) and I have been discussing how to better equip our grads for the current economic and work environment. We’d like to create a a curriculum that benefits everyone from students, to faculty and the businesses who employ designers.

I put out a call on Twitter the other day to see what people would be looking for in a design program. I heard from industry folks, recent grads and others. Last night, at a GDC event, I spoke with a number of young designers, all of whom felt like they were not being properly prepared for the working world. Now, don’t get me wrong, NSCAD has never been about giving designers the ‘hard’ skills, it’s a school that is about teaching the design process. However, interactive design isn’t even being taught in that capacity. And let’s face it, if we don’t give designers some skills in HTML and CSS they’re not going to know how to integrate with the businesses that are leading the way in the new media space.

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