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SAIC (Designed Objects) VS RISD (ID)

Postby MarcoWu » April 22nd, 2017, 12:24 am


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So right now I am a sophomore studying ID in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and I am planning to transfer next semester. I already got an offer from SAIC (Designed Objects) along with a pretty decent scholarship but I was placed in the waiting list by RISD. Still I need some advice for choosing the right school and my career path. I noticed that uolulu had posted almost the same topic few years ago (http://boards.core77.com/viewtopic.php?t=30716&p=216723), but I would like some updates for each program.

So I am looking up at designers like Marc Newson or Philippe Starck, who both have very unique sense of aesthetics for fashion and design; and both of them didn't even begin their journey as industrial designers. Therefore I don't want to limit myself just to ID; I would love to learn from an old fashion way, from how to actually make stuff, from exploring different materials and from working in a wide range of fields (but my ultimate goal is still to become an industrial designer). That's why SAIC and RISD become my top choices.

For SAIC, I think their Designed Objects has an excellent curriculum for helping student develop their own styles in design and also plenty opportunities to experiment different materials; as for RISD, its main focus is still to train their students in a very traditional ID way but what makes it unique is that students in RISD would have more freedom to think outside the box, it's all about how you think (at least from what I heard about the ID program in RISD). If what I said above are truth, which one would suit me better? ( of course if, lucky enough, I get an offer RISD in the end). When I graduate, I want to carry a set of skills of an industrial designer, but I would love to work as a freelance designer without "trapping" myself in the ID field (at least for the first few years).

But there are still uncertainties for me because I feel like if I choose not to get involve in the ID world in the beginning, it's kind of risky since there is no guarantee that I will end up doing what I really want to do (especially when it turns out I am not that talented lol). I really need some advice on my educations and future considering my situation.

Thank you a lot!

Re: SAIC (Designed Objects) VS RISD (ID)

Postby AndyMc » April 23rd, 2017, 10:51 pm

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Everything you have said is part of ID school. They all show you how to make things and to think outside of the box. Thinking outside of the box is a core component of being an IDer.

What do you mean by "trapping" yourself in the ID field? ID is enormously broad, so could you give some examples of other fields you would like to work in? They might all be more connected than you think.

I think you're focussing too much on what you might not get out of school vs what you will. You can work on absolutely anything that you want outside of class, and that's where most of my design development happened through school.

Re: SAIC (Designed Objects) VS RISD (ID)

Postby AVClub » April 24th, 2017, 7:28 am


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Although the phrase "thinking out of the box" is a bit confusing, I think I know what your're saying, and I believe that I empathize with you. The school I went to, I got a fantastic education, and employers have been very impressed with knowledge that I have gained especially from some amazing sponsored projects we had. However, although not a bad thing, I feel that I got a very practical education, that landed me a job before I graduated, however what I feel I lack is the "art" side of ID, like the high design objects you see at the Milan show, etc. I have been struggling lately with how to pursue something like this and move conceptually in that direction, while still maintaining my practical side.


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