design colleges are like fashion houses

just a thought here that design school rankings and styles are comming in and out like fashion. There seems to be ‘an era’ of sorts when the schools are famous for and how long they have been ‘in reign’

the ranking seems to be fairly constant in the States, but more volatile in other countries. Eg. what may be the king of PhD design may not be that much of anything after 10 years.

any thoughts about this ? …

first, any ranking has to be questionable.

second, note what a school is famous for. Proffesors have to increase their institutions notariety/prestige to gain tenure and full professorship. you may suddenly start hearing about someplace just because of faculty turnover.
smaller departments sometimes use student competitions to increase their profile, you’ve no doubt seen several schools show up in every competition for a few years only to dissapear later. (there are pedagogical problems with over-using competitions to teach)

a better judge of a school is to look at where their graduates end up. who are the leaders, managers, judges, directors and to a lesser degree, award winners on magazine covers.

thanks for the replu. But the thing is even if scchools are able to put their grads in certain big name companies, the quality of certain grads are questionable.

I wouldn’t regard that as a definitive way of assessing quality of grads or even the quality of the teacher. it may well be the case that the prof/teacher has excellent connections and able to put the grads in.

design is a profession where talent counts. but it is also possible to train up the talent somehow. (may not be creative anymore but in reality I do see people who are not that talented but are in the position of getting put into a company because of practical reasons.

Ok, there’s several things going on here.

Yes, anyone going to a half-decent program can rise to the top of the profession, no doubt about it.

In a perfect world, talent would always trump connections, but the opposite is actually the case - particulrly as far as getting in the door is concerned.
To become one of the best designers, you still need talent/passion/skill etc… in addition to that first break.

Not that long ago, all the design rock stars were from the likes of: Cranbrook or RISD.
Moreover, so were the: competition judges, department heads, writers of influential academic articles etc…

Now, those leaders are coming from a broader array of schools, probably as a result of growth in the proffesion.

Finnaly, Do not discount the value of a schools’ good connections to the industry! Several posters have implied that ID supports nepotism. Trust me, it doesnt.

I would also add that any school is what you make of it. Even if you don’t go to a “rockstar” school doesn’t mean you can’t rise to the top of your profession.

Anyone catch that article recently that lots of “top” schools wanted out of the rankings? Many American colleges balk at U.S. News rankings -