I was more than fed-up with the “education industry” in 1973. Granted, formal Industrial Design education was relatively uncommon at the time, but for the most part the instructors that I had, having not spent any time on the boards, didn’t know up from down. Their philosophies were pertinent, but from a student perspective, their actual “design-skills” left much to be desired. I was disappointed. I remember thinking to myself that I’d be damned if I’d take a teaching job with less than ten years of actual work experience to draw from (and pass on).
When I was sixteen we visited family in Nyack, NY. We were on an outing one afternoon and I was introduced to a professional glass-blower (both art and scientific lab ware); an interesting guy that I hit it off with. His workshop was intriguing to me, and I stopped back by a couple of times while we were on vacation. I think he picked up on my interest, because the last time I visited he invited me to become his apprentice … a concept that I wasn’t familiar with at that age. I couldn’t take him up on his offer, but it would have been interesting I think.
I now know, from my own personal 6,000 hour experience, how the “apprenticeship” system works, and it has it’s merits. Actual on-the-job-training, with graded-pay (students have to make a living too), combined with classroom studies, under the tutelage of experienced “tradesmen”. In the particular field that I refer to the established apprenticeship program is recognized by “industry” so an employer knows the qualifications of the individual. In ID terms the apprenticeship is the equivalent of an Internship (only more extensive).
I think you’ve got a great idea Michael; essentially a private “design school” _viz-a-vi_z Taliesin (which, BTW, turns 100 years old next year). “Accreditation” would be a problem more than likely… academia doesn’t like anyone horning in on the action. But “accreditation” be damned.
But it would be the problem with your “private design school” concept Michael. Of course it’s only a “problem” to those HR types who seek new hires from the established “educational system”. I don’t think there are too many, if any, architectural principals that would not recognize the significance of a Taliesin-trained applicant, for example.
At the risk of being considered a “vocational” trade (along with electricians, welders, etc.), “Industrial Design” needs a new educational system. But it also needs a new “hiring system” on the part of industry.