Canadian ID School choices (Carleton vs OCADU)

Just got my acceptance to Carleton!! Finally

Yeah make a group!

OK! you guys will have to add me so I can include you in the group

hey guys here’s the link to the group


I am an early graduate of the BID course at Carleton - very early - one of the initial 5 from the first year! At that time the entry into ID was two completed years of either Architecture or Engineering, on top of which you took an ID background course. You then switched to the final two years in the ID School. We ended up with 30 university credits (2 x and general BA) - strictly against university rules - which were altered to allow it - and were definitely well trained ‘product designers’. Our major problem back then was nobody in Canada knew what we did - thanks to a generation or two since of good graduates - not a problem.

I went on and worked at Bell Northern Research, Design Interpretative as a design student - then Creelman International in Toronto before returning to studies at the RCA in London - an MDesRCA in Industrial Design. That was followed by a stint as the Canadian Post Offices original Product Design Manager before I tired of government games and started my own design company RJS ID Inc in Ottawa Canada. (for historical interest my promotional web site for that company can be found at ) Eight years ago - I retired, folded the company and moved to Umbria Italy, where I now live in a very small hill top town - someone has to!

The question is do you want to be a designer or a product designer? - In this day and age, given the job market - I would argue that the former is of much better value. A designer is a problem solver - they look at a problem and propose solutions - that is their forte. Those can be product, graphic, exhibit - all or none of these - just marketing or idea presentation. Specialising in any particular field, in my opinion can be a trap. The details of any technology are so fleeting in this age that other than becoming adept at learning them - the specifics, until a particular solution is required, is of little value. Focus on how to study a problem - how to order details - present the findings in a coherent manner - this is based on your personal practice and a study of history - the artists and designers who have gone before and what if any, their relevance to today - Design is, or in my opinion should be, a cross cultural study, not a specific expertise of product or graphic or…

So after having been there and done that, been reasonably successful - enough that every Canadian is daily faced with my solutions, and able to retire early - go to OCA. If you think you want to be sportswear designer - you can tailor your portfolio to that, but take advantage of the other aspects of Art that the place has to offer - and the life in Toronto (that from an Ottawa born and raised individual) has to offer. Or go further afield and expose yourself to other cultures as well.

Good luck - R