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iab
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Sain wrote:I remember one professor (Sooshin) at DAAP giving his advice. "If you have a girlfriend and she asks you for one rose, do you give her just one rose? No you give her a bouquet. " Something like that. In college this is totally true where your trying to get better/faster.


Quite frankly, Professor Sooshin would be a horrible manager.

College is to prepare you for reality. As a manager, I know how much time is allotted and what is a reasonable expectation of deliverables for that time. 3 things can happen. My associate can make the deliverables on time. No harm no foul. My associate can make the deliverables in less time. I get more profit and the associate advances and they can use the "saved" time for other purposes. My associate needs more time to make the deliverables. I get less profit and the associate is shown the door.

But let's talk about an academic setting. If any professor is grading on something other than the expectation they outlined, they should be fired. If I assign 20 and you do 25, I will only consider the top 20 you gave. The other 5 are inconsequential and it would be unethical to consider them as I would be perpetrating a fraud. You could argue if you have the 5 throw-aways, your top 20 may be better. But then again, maybe you should just concentrate on making a great 20.

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Sain
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iab wrote:Quite frankly, Professor Sooshin would be a horrible manager.


But he's not a manager, he's a professor. And I think theres a major difference.

iab wrote: But let's talk about an academic setting. If any professor is grading on something other than the expectation they outlined, they should be fired.


In my opinion, outside of keeping scholarships. Grades mean nothing in design school. I'm not even sure my actual degree matters. Sure this matters in some majors, but in a profession where portfolio rules, very few care what your GPA in college was. (Sure theres gonna be someone that points out the exception, I work at a major cooperation with strict hiring practices. But I would wager portfolio trumps all in the end.)


You could argue if you have the 5 throw-aways, your top 20 may be better. But then again, maybe you should just concentrate on making a great 20.


Exactly. This was his way of saying do more than you're asked. Grades were always done on what your presented. For those who did more, it showed. We were always taught that your first 5-20 ideas sucked, they were the expected solutions. So get those out of the way so you could get to the creative stuff. I think this is very true as a student, where your not only learning how to easily communicate your ideas, but learning the process in generating those ideas to begin with.

For students if you can do 20 great concepts right out of the gate, then your golden. But I don't think it works like that for the majority.

Theres also the train of thought that if your counting the sketches to get the project done in college, then your gonna have problems down the line. You should sit down, and just sketch to solve the problem, maybe that takes you 30-40. If you love this, you shouldn't really be "counting" in college. You don't have scoped time to devote in college.
Last edited by Sain on August 15th, 2016, 1:01 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Sain
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Also I think theres an interesting dynamic is schools, where they're trying to balance real life expectation and a schooling environment. Should studios be exact replicas of work environments? Is that the most effective way of teaching kids? I'm not sure? DAAP allowed us to alternate between work internships and college studio environments every 4 months. So it was interesting to see the differences. But even internships and realife are vastly difference.

Are students better prepared by mimicking the rigorous scope/ deadlines of real design work. Or is this environments of pushing student designers far beyond whats expected better? If a bit unrealistic of how the real world works.

I personally think the later produces better designers in the end, but thats just my view.
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Some good convo on here.

2 things that stick out to me on the latest posts, education style, and expectations.

I'm not an educator, but I don't think the school should be a duplicate of the professional studio. The school by nature is an academic environment and there are some things better learned in that setting, protected from industry, where it is safe to explore and learn. As Emman said, UC has the unique alternating Co-op program which is a great balance. You get the benefits of apprenticeships alternating with academic periods where you can absorb and process.... that said, the academic can't ignore the professional world. It can be informed by it, respond to it, and hopefully help shape the direction of the professional world.

When I did teach, I always gave points for exceeding expectations, but it can be a double edge sword. If the assignment is to do 20 sketches, and you 25, but they all are terrible, it isn't going to go well. One of the techniques that my professors used to do was assign 30 concepts, but only post up your top 5. That way if you did 30, 40, or 50, it din't matter. the only thing that mattered was could you accurately judge and select your top 5.... of course you could do 5 good ones and phone the rest in with crap... nothing is perfect I guess! The other 25 concepts would be in a pile and they would randomly count a few of the students, or flip through to see if they picked their best 5.

This going way OT, but some great convo. The last few conversations that have caught on remind me a bit more of the old days of deep and thoughtful discussion. I dig it.


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Sain wrote:But he's not a manager, he's a professor. And I think theres a major difference.


I'll have to disagree. The job of a good manager is to elevate an associate to the next level, making them more valuable to the organization. How is that different from what a professor does?

While a professor may start with something extremely raw, but as you mention it's the work that matters and not the grade, ID can be done with an apprenticeship. No need for grades or school for that matter. How would a manager and a professor differ then?

Time is time. Some need more than others. Some will be more efficient and more profitable. And yes, more practice will make you better in most cases. Do the practice on your time, not mine. Yay capitalism.

An academic setting can allow concentration in a particular area of product development, work on color theory for the semester. A good manager can also manage associates to their strengths which may lead them to be a specialist in a particular area. I've got folks great at the front end and I've got folks great at the back end. Very similar to an academic setting with the only difference that a newb has no clue what and what not are their strengths.

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iab, I do think that some things are better learned in an academic environment, but you could probably compress a lot of that into a shorter program. The class I had that I think benefited me in a pure academic setting were: art/architectural history, writing, presentation/public speaking (was an elective, but great for creative people to take), classical figure drawing, 2d theory, 3d theory. Pretty much everything after that could have been an apprenticeship, but rapid viz, model making, and CAD were nice to take as separate classes without the pressure of having to learn on a client. I don't think most clients or corporations would want to pay to train their apprentices. Even if they were unpaid apprenticeships, they would be taking your senior designer and design manager's time, during their hours.


iab
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yo wrote:iab, I do think that some things are better learned in an academic environment


I'd agree completely.

But my point is that there is little difference between a professor and a manager. Both do project and people management. Sure the structure of a project is different in academia than the professional world. You can have a CAD class, color theory class, a shop class, etc. That concentration of task is probably a better way to learn.

I didn't bother with the OP's video because I really don't care as it likely has no pertinence to what I do. But as a manager, project and people, if I ask for 1 flower and you bring me a dozen, it smacks a brown-nosing and it will reflect poorly on you. Or worse, you didn't do what I asked you to do. I may be mistaken but Sain may think that is a good thing. It isn't.

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When i was a adjunct i found many students poorly prepared to enter the "business" of design - no slight on the level of educators but some had been out of the work field for a long time or only had academic experience although they were and are very talented designers.

As a professor it ones job to help grow and prepare the students to enter the field in a somewhat protected and nurturing environment and to encourage not discourage. But applying real world expectations and criteria is important and they should be more enforced vi progression form 1st year to the 4th year.

I was amazed when I would have students not have work completed on the due date and the excuse would be “so and so teacher always gives us extensions so we figured you would” and they were not too happy to be informed

1. They are automatically deducted 20%
2. It is a insult to give them a extension when other completed the work on time
3. IN real world this would happen once or twice and then they would be let go
4. The fact none of them provided a heads up or reason that the work would be late was unacceptable.

Their response “that’s unfair” my response “did you not read the syllabus” – there are many more real world expectations that I taught as well and some students didn’t like it but grew to appreciate them (even to the point where they would thank me years later) and some thought I was simply a prick……

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iab wrote: I ask for 1 flower and you bring me a dozen, it smacks a brown-nosing and it will reflect poorly on you. Or worse, you didn't do what I asked you to do. I may be mistaken but Sain may think that is a good thing. It isn't.


Thats the part I think is different for a professor and a manager. A professor shouldn't care if you overdeliver. They are not managing a timeline or budget. They don't know/care if that rendering took you 1 hour or 10. They just care that you have the rendering. I can't imagine an art history professor asking you how many hours you spent writing your paper, an editor might care but not your professor. So why should your studio professor care how many hours each rendering took? (They shouldn't because 19 year old Sain never took art classes in high school so it takes him 2 hours to draw a box in perspective. While Art prodigy super star student can speed paint a car concept in 30 minutes. In the end they both need to present whats required. )

Even in the real world people hardly ever ask for "10 concepts". They ask for you to spend 40 hours to finish Round 1, that has 10 high fidelity photoshop concepts and all the required formatting, mood boards, etc. Designers are going to draw way more than just the 10 concepts, throw out bad ones, remix a few, and eventually narrow it down for the preso. But all within the allotted time/budget.

Over delivering to a client is a bad thing it sets prescient for work moving forward. This week you spent 80 hours on 40 hours of paid work. Next time you deliver 40 hours of work they're going to expect work at the 80 level. (Unless your in an SF consultancy then its always expected :? )

But in college you get the assignment "Show up next class with 10 concepts" One student can show up with the first 10 concepts they did that took them a few hours. The other can show up with 10 concepts, that took them the same hours to do, but then they spent the next 5 hours drawing 10 more concepts, refining them, redrawing and getting the perspective perfect. You'll present your 10 super concepts and have the rest in your sketch stack on your desk.

What I'm saying: In college the professor doesn't care if you "over deliver" by spending all the time between classes working on the project (your classmates might). Be the person that spends the extra hours refining your concepts, it'll pay dividends when you graduate.
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Even in the real world people hardly ever ask for "10 concepts". They ask for you to spend 40 hours to finish Round 1, that has 10 high fidelity photoshop concepts and all the required formatting, mood boards, etc. Designers are going to draw way more than just the 10 concepts, throw out bad ones, remix a few, and eventually narrow it down for the preso. But all within the allotted time/budget.


So...in the real world example above, you were asked for 10 concepts, as outlined in the Round 1 deliverables. Did I miss something?

Maybe what's missing in this conversation is that the job of academia is to teach students how to think about and solve product problems, and that fancy renderings are but one tool in the toolkit. The thought process, however it is capped in the end (fancy renderings, models, a meeting, diagrams and workflows, whiteboard notes, whatever), needs to be fed with process work that shows the reasoning and proof.

As to overdelivering or pushing themselves beyond the limit, students are free to do that, but it's going to cost them when they find themselves sick from stress, exhaustion, bad diet, and lack of sleep.

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bcpid wrote: So...in the real world example above, you were asked for 10 concepts, as outlined in the Round 1 deliverables. Did I miss something?


Nope you're right, the real world is 10 concepts in X amount of hours. Academia it's 10 concepts by this deadline. The shift in the way the work is framed allows students the opportunity to spend the extra time to get it right. (whether that means more time concepting, sketching, etc) So you have the opportunity to really push your designs and your skill set during this time.

I think that a competitive school environment where students are pushing themselves project after project to outperform themselves and classmates, leads to greater growth and produces stronger designers. Putting in the late night hours during school will pay dividends when your graduate and try to find a job. Going back to OPs original message, my thought is that the competition between students, pushes the entire class upwards.

There other side of the argument seems to be that, this produces diva designers and it enforces unhealthy habits. It also isn't how real world projects work and school should potentially try and follow a structure closer to that. Example not over delivering, etc. In the real world your not competing with your fellow designers your collaborating. (paraphrasing a few others points)
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iab
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Sain wrote:So why should your studio professor care how many hours each rendering took?


Because they can evaluate where you are and determine if there is any gap to where you should be. That way they can manage your expectations and where you should concentrate efforts.

It's called managing. It is helpful to those being managed.

So now you are a fifth year senior and it takes you 40 hours to make a single slide in the deck. Guess what, if your professor isn't telling to you may not cut it, he/she is a fraud. Managing.

2 third year students have to make 10 concepts in a week. Student A does the 10, student B does 15. Both receive an A. Do you honestly think student B should get an AAAAA++++++? Managing.

Again, there is little, if any, difference between manager/professor. The manager's/professor's expectations of their associate/student should fit an experience level. If an employee hits that expectation, they get paid. If a student hits that expectation, they get their grade.


iab
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Sain wrote:I think that a competitive school environment where students are pushing themselves project after project to outperform themselves and classmates, leads to greater growth and produces stronger designers.


That works for people who are competitive. It does not for people who are not competitive.

Competitive people rarely understand that fact.

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iab wrote:
Competitive people rarely understand that fact.


Quote of the day. Love it.


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The business of competitive people versus noncompetitive people is interesting. I don't compete with or care about competing with other designers because they aren't the audience. It seems in real life, happy clients are often happy with a lot less in terms of sketch quality and "innovation" than competitive designers are, and they can't necessarily tell the difference between a C+ and an A- sketch to begin with. Clients can't draw a *BOX* most of the time, and they are thrilled by almost any level of sketch. Napkin sketches and diagrams often work. And if personal experience is any guide, clients' actions say they are much more interested in incremental progress and maintenance than they are in innovation, which means it usually isn't worth spending a lot of time on far-out ideas - most of the time. So those two arms-race areas that I think competitive people get all up in arms about - perfect images, newness/killerapps/innovation - and which can be a source of pointless endless endlessness for everyone else, are probably a lot less important than many people think they are.

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