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day 3: conversation as paper…with difficult questions

January 20, 2016

lisa hammershaimb

Today’s “paper” takes yet another experimental form which is that of a two hour chat with friends who are working as both graphic designers and educators, thus their lives embody the relationship between design education and professional trade that fits with my intention for the week. What follows are five questions that stood out most to me from the meandering stream of our conversation. Though the night raised more questions than answers, what did crystalize in my mind is that through this whole dissertation process, it is vital that I continue to immerse and vet my ideas not only through my supervisor, committee, etc. but also through the very people who live in the places where one day my work will come to reside.

The night ended with my friends expressing confidence in me because they knew my dissertation was going to solve all these issues, create clarity, and basically bring world peace. Though I am hopeful for all those things…I think at this moment my dissertation will be a win if it delightfully perturbs people who are deeply enmeshed in the structures of design education. My dissertation will be a win if it becomes a catalyst for conversation about who we are as designers and how we are teaching our students. My dissertation will be a win if it opens up connections and space for new ideas.

5 Hard Questions about Graphic Design + Design Education

Why is there such a disconnect between what I do as an in-house designer on a daily basis and what I learned in school/what I am required to teach my students?

How can students better learn to receive and react to critique from a client so that they’re better prepared for professional life?

Why are design programs so much in separate silos when I never only just work with designers?

Why aren’t students taught more tactile/hands on creation skills?

Why don’t we hear and expose students to the voices of more “middle/average designers” and instead elevate freelancers and well established superstars?

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