damned set of curious questions 5

This time about selection of creative people .


On the education front :
-how would you pick a potential candidate for a design course ?

  • do you take in anyone ?
  • do you think creativity can be thought ? If so, then you would take in anyone and groomed them. But the result may not be that creative since all of them are learning very similar ideas and methods from the teacher.
  • if you believe in creative talent, then chances are you don’t pick in anyone. You would have some idea what kind of students you want.

on the work front :

-what kind of graduates do you look for ?
-would you consider intregrity over intelligence ?

  • would you pick someone who is from a top school only ?
  • beinghardworking pays off. But if creativity is not there, would you insist that tonnes of practice could churn out creative work ?

isn’t the common addage “portfolio over all else”?

of course personality plays a part too.

Education front:

The education process itself should establish an environment that will weed out unsuitable people without actually doing it.

Students who lack interest, passion and determination will weed themselves out.

Work front:

Skill, talent and personality.

Regarding eduction, this will vary depending on the available places to the demand. University’s, in the UK anyway, have lots of pressure to fill their classes so will take most people as long as they adhere to the minimum requirements of subjects, grades and to some extent portfolio.

While for those highly popular, elite courses at the big names, such as the RSA, they have the freedom to choose the ‘best’. And I would expect they look for something a little more than good grades. I’ve never gone to the RSA so this is just based upon assumptions, and seeing how the Oxbridge colleges take on students.

Regarding the work front, I’ve never had the fortune or misfortune (depending how you look at it) to be in position of hiring. But from my experience at sitting a the other side of the table I would expect that firstly you have to meet there skill set requirement as a baseline. Then they have to to comfortable that you will ‘fit in’ to their organisation…i.e your personality can go along way. I do think people would lean towards a graduate of the same uni as them, up to a point.

Also, you need to be able to understand the business side of things and be able to back your self up on your decisions to take a certain design a certain way…this shows a higher degree of thinking and the ability it step back from a problem to see ‘the bigger picture’

on the work front :
-what kind of graduates do you look for ?

‘balanced’ ones; grads with a balanced left and right brain, creative with rational, part talent part potential, and most importantly of all, different every time: A company with several designers won’t look for the same skill set every time, they need to balance their team too.

-would you consider integrity over intelligence ?

Huh?! I can’t imagine wanting them separated. Imagine the job ad: Company looking for designer who is Intelligent but dishonest…or… Truthful but stupid…? Such people only get jobs in the government.

  • would you pick someone who is from a top school only ?

The school is completely unimportant compared to the portfolio, the person and the potential.

  • being hardworking pays off. But if creativity is not there, would you insist that tonnes of practice could churn out creative work ?

No way. An employer should never underestimate the value of what talented (creative, skilled and committed) people can do.

true, but what type of folio would you look for ?
There are different ways of looking at work, and sometimes people may skip the process and only see the final product.

another point : some schools weed out students if they do not conform to their criteria. I agree that the weed out process should be by the process itself. But there are also instances where students will not be weeded out because the school needs the money. There are also in between cases too.

on the work front, I would have ranked personality, talent and skill in this order and add very good thinking (including resourcefulness, ethical and social aspects) skills in the first rank.

dawolfman, I’m puzzled. I thought RSA was Royal Society of Arts which sets the annual design contest for students ? Also in the UK, the colleges take in students selectively by folio. Most students go through the foundation year. I think you know this better than me :slight_smile:


most of the replies agree on one sole point and that is personality. However how about a person who has got a charisma when it comes to design, but is no good with people. Would you think that is a real problem ?

I’ve encountered a few who are extremely talented, but do not have good relationships with others. But have the zeal and energy to progress. Would you count such a person as being potentially successful ?

hey zippy, you give interesting answers.
I have a question for you : why would you take in anybody onto a course ?
Any body could be anybody and that could mean the person may have no talent, no character, no motivation, and have completely nothing even.
Wouldn’t such students be potential problem ?

Would that work ?

Integrity, intelligence and talent are a rare find these days.
But I agree with you this is a must. However there are plenty of people who do not have all three alone and not even 2. But they still work…

folios are crucial. But it does look that schools do help them to mark their way up. So how could the school be less important ? Usually well known schools do help them to get top jobs as they have the ready contacts.

You could still come out well alone. The fight is much tougher and I believe this type of winner is much stronger than those from well known schools with ready contacts.

Its their money, they want to blow it then they are more the fool.

folios are crucial. But it does look that schools do help them to mark their way up. So how could the school be less important ? Usually well known schools do help them to get top jobs as they have the ready contacts.

You could still come out well alone. The fight is much tougher and I believe this type of winner is much stronger than those from well known schools with ready contacts.

You sort of answer your own question here. I partly agree with the answer -that a seemingly talented grad coming from an otherwise ‘challenged’ school would be a stronger player than one who was spoon-fed through a ‘good school’.

I still don’t look to see what school they come from until after reviewing the visuals in their application (if at all).

The bottom line though is; what’s in the portfolio reveals a lot about the person who made it. If they don’t show their sketches then they’re either hiding something or they received bad advice (or ignored good advice). It’s the interviewer’s job to judge that person by what is there, and find out about everything else from the person themselves.

these are the one i thought a had a decent viewpoint to answer:

  • do you think creativity can be thought ? If so, then you would take in anyone and groomed them.

yes, creativity imo is innate in the sense that we each have a different perspective (pun?) not just as designers but as individuals…and that innate ability can be nurtured and guided in such a way that encourages looking at problems in new ways…

The education process itself should establish an environment that will weed out unsuitable people without actually doing it.

i agree…

Also, you need to be able to understand the business side of things and be able to back your self up on your decisions to take a certain design a certain way…this shows a higher degree of thinking and the ability it step back from a problem to see ‘the bigger picture’

what does that really mean? in the context of a candidate who has just graduated, that understanding will likely be rudimentary at best right?

You sort of answer your own question here. I partly agree with the answer -that a seemingly talented grad coming from an otherwise ‘challenged’ school would be a stronger player than one who was spoon-fed through a ‘good school’.

i am inclined to disagree on that point, mainly because i had a few people speak on this very issue about my school, being “spoon fed” the the information and/or experience is better, or at the very least, looks better than those who never get that information. so while the 2 candidates may indeed have a similar skillset, i think the “spoon-fed” candidate would have a better chance because that person would likely have more knowledge and usable skills straight away. being from one of those otherwise “challenged” schools, too few of us were aware of what we were not getting, so that most of us were probably not as prepared to compete on the level expected of designer in the current landscape…

true

but there is an imminent danger that the rotten apples may spoil the whole class. Some students come in and do just wasting their money. Worse, they could create unwanted trouble ranging from affecting other students to creating trouble for the teachers.

interesting answers. I assume you are an academic.
I am wondering where you are teaching. I always thought spoon feeding is bad. Teaching the important topics and bringing awareness of various subjects to the students and allow them to explore would be a much better option, wouldn’t it ?

I believe that creativity can only be taught to a certain extent; because creativity is about creating new things. How can you grow creativity when everything is taught in a similar or even the same fashion ?

Oh come now, they are all adults not 9 year olds. You have some mighty strange notions, almost as if you view all people as children.

not to liken young adults to children, but before actually letting a child eat on their own you make sure it understands the process of eating. like in mathematics, you “spoon fee” the equations, and the students “explore” by answering questions that challenge them to apply these equations in given what is known.

not a teacher, i just do not think there is much that cannot be learned or taught; sure we might have predispositions towards various approaches/talents (whether it be nature vs. nuture) creativity manifests itself differently in each of us and so it really is not even a matter of teaching creativity rather than bringing it out or using it effectively…

I depends what course they did, we covered basic business studies & marketing in our course so you can have a appreciation for where a product is going to sit in the company’s portfolio.

Pretty much if a designer understands the business reasons why they are design something for the company it shows the designer is just no there to make stuff look pretty.

Sorry typo…I did mean to say RCA not RSA…I confuse myself sometimes