Calling all KU ID students

I don’t know if things have changed since I graduated, but when I was there, KU had a very lopsided user-research focused program, almost to the the exclusion of core form and manufacturability issues. This is great if you plan to be a design researcher, but if you wanted to be a real product designer, a lot of the onus was on you to develop your technical skills. Luckily, I did. The two things KU really lacked are 1) a focus on technical fundamentals (rapid sketching, modelmaking, form development, design for manufacture, general aesthetics and presentation), and 2) a real emphasis on the Industrial part of Industrial Design. Remember, it has to sell and it has be manufacturable.

Take a look around at all the hot portfolios on coroflot (which typically represent students and the unemployed), and ask yourself if you would stand out next to them. Are you lacking? And if so, can you fix it? Many programs require co op and internships, so their grads can have a couple years’ worth of real experience by the time they graduate, which only increases those students’ value.

As students, you owe it to yourselves to make demands on the program you are paying good money to be a part of. Portfolio reviews and harsh critiques may hurt, but they’re extremely valuable if your goal is to be good. Remember, when you graduate, the only thing that matters is your portfolio. The quality of your portfolio is directly proportional to your ability to get a job.