Hey Listen Up i.d. students of Canada !!

Hey fellow i.d canucks!
All of you have probably heard of a or participated in a discussion of which i.d. program in Canada is better or which one lacks what, OCAD vs. Carlton, Emily Carr vs. Humber…etc (just look at the discussion we’re having on this site alone). Personally, I’m not into bashing other programs, it’ll get us nowhere. Since we know of the different philosophy behind each program and their pros and cons, why don’t we come together and share what we’re learning and doing. I’m from OCAD, and I’ll be happy to share what’s going on in my classes, the projects we’re doing and learning. If we can get a pool of i.d. students and share our thoughts and our phiolosophy and help each other in what we think we’re strong in and others lack we can get something really exciting going. Of course professionals are very welcome in this…hmm…shall we say Think Tank? Ppl who are interested in this, I wanna hear your thoughts!

one thing i like to know is how are the Carlton kids and other i.d. kids handling the fact that most of the design work will be offered for free in manufacturing plants in China. What are your schools saying about this

This will affect all designers in the coming decade as local design services will only be needed sporadically by the manufacturing base still here, meaning mostly smaller niche markets, shorter runs or highly specialized/personalized technologies, i.e. not exactly the mass-produced generics ID programs train for. Design will increasingly follow manufacturing as Asian and Eastern European schools start making their mark. Creative talent is universal and a solid business relation in ID needs a good dose of physical contact to succeed.

No, the internet won’t save designers daydreaming of selling virtual ideas to the other side of the globe. Remember intellectual property rights?

The above guest made a good point. My school is all about concept, and there’s a trend where it’s pushing towards intangible “products”, process as services. The argument the school has made is that we no longer need to know how the technical side comes together, that will be taken care off by the Manufacturing plant recieving our “ideas”, all we need to concentrate on is the concept development and the research. I am honestly torn in this approach, as in a way i feel that this is the way of the future i.d. professon, but in other way i feel so lost not have that technical background, i.e. the technical production side. I feel that without proper training in how to bring a concept through to production, I’m not seeing the whole picture. By the way, for the professionals out there, how can I learn about the technical production/ manufacturing side of the profession if it’s not offered at school?

Much of what you need to learn about the technical side can be found by doing internships at design firms or manufacturers that have in-house ID. Basically, the real world.

(How an Industrial Designer can design properly without knowledge of the technical side is beyond me. It’s like trying to write a book without knowing the letters of the alphabet.)

Buy anyway, do your best to land yourself a placement at a good firm or company with ID, and you will learn a ton. Even a prototyping shop that works with Industrial Designers would be helpful.

Or, find Mr. Beekenkamp, hook up a mind-meld device to his brain, and learn everything he knows… :smiley:

Hey is Karim Rashid an accurate representation of the students coming out of Carlton? Is he omnipresent in the teaching of the program? Hey what are some notable graduates of OCAD, Emily Carr, Humber and George Brown? Did I miss any other i.d. schools in Canada?

is Mr. Beekenkamp a metaphorical figure?

what makes you think that the chinese can design a product that is appropriate and succesful in our culture better than we can? could YOU design something for the chinese better than a chinese designer?

the sort of generic non-design you are talking about already exists now… it’s not really design at all. why would it get any better?

there’s not that much money in design to encourage the chinese to really want to take it on seriously… manufacturing is a different story.

besides… no company concerned about intellectual property is going to trust a chinese firm… it basically giving your design away.

free design… you get what you pay for.


is ipod the sort of non design u’re talking about? If so, u really think such objects have no place in design now and of the future?

the ipod wasn’t designed in china.

i have no doubt that many of the ipod copycat products that will appear in the years to come will be made in china. they will look ‘kinda’ like the ipod but not really. they will work ‘kinda’ like the ipod but not really. they will not be made as well as the ipod because they will be cheap knock-offs. they will break no new cultural ground and while they will have a presence in the market place for the briefest of moments no one will ever remember them because they will be completely unmemorable.

it is perhaps design in a rudimentary sense but not any design process that i would want to be a part of. certainly not anything i feel threatened by. it’s basically culturally invisible… non-design.

the ipod is quite the opposite of what i have just described. but, as i said, the ipod was not designed in china.


oh i guess I should’ve clarified what I meant. I raise the ipod as an example to refer to your comment of it takes a chinese to design for chinese culture, and I guess a wetern designer to design for westurn culture, but the ipod it seems is not to be associated in such a manner. Ipod is the sort of design that is valid and has value in more than one culture. That is why I point it out as maybe the sort of generic non design u were refering to earlier. The fact that it does not only reflect the values of a certain ethnic culture but one defined by consumerism. Because u’ve raised an interesting point about cultural sensitivity, the iPod seems to be the antithesis of that.

As to rather the Chinese will ever conjure up a product/ service phenomenon that compares to the ipod, one can only speculate. But it didn’t take long for the Japanese to go from creating knock off electronics to being one of the driving forces in the field. Good Discussion Tele.

He is a Humber and former OCAD instructor who’s technical knowledge is unsurpassed.

I think this whole China debate is important, and on the minds of many North American and European designers, but I don’t see how it directly relates to the topic at hand (getting Canadian ID students together).

Anyone go to Rocket this past weekend?

Hi there,

I’m a student at university of Montreal’s industrial design program. I can share what my experience has been like. At thebeggining of the year, I transfered form Concordia university’s design art program which is a conceptual-driven school. Unfortunately, this school had no technical and industrial teachings part of their curriculum. University of Montreal has plenty. As a matter a fact, it has so much that freedom of thinking when it comes to product concepts seems to dissapear. I am conscious that technical knowledge is absolutely imperative to the business, but I think that schools should work on the way your mind works and produces ideas instead of stufffing your head with data. What is Carlton and OCAD like??

Thank you A-Line. Good to here from someone in Montreal. That’s interesting that university of montreal would be technical based, I had always thought Montrela schools to be more avant garde.

I’m at OCAD right now, and I would say it’s strategy driven more than concept driven. We’re very much focused on research and experimental thinking (i.e. biometrics, thinktank). Here u will be evaluated on how innovative your solution is, over the technical aspects or how pretty your product looks. I am however frustrated at the lack of fabrication facilties available ( I want a CNC machine darn it!)…and I guessed I missed out on Mr. Beekenkamp. LOL I think Univerity of Montreal and OCAD should cross pollenize. Actually, that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Hey A-Line did u go to Humber? What was your experience like? The Rocket was this past wekkend? dang. Is it still on? Where are all the Carlton kids in this discussion? Hello Emilty carr?

I am an OCAD gradudate. But, having spoken to several current OCAD instructors, looking at this year’s thesis projects, and even dropping in on a class or two, I am absolutely sure that OCAD is a very different place now than it was when I went there not that many years ago.

But one thing is still the same: you can learn a heck of a lot of very important stuff by getting out there into the real world (internships, co-ops, summer jobs, or even just volunteering time or going on “plant tours”) while you are still in school. Once you graduate you become just another designer calling up wanting a job or a chance or whatever. When you are still in school people in the industry are quite a bit more eager to help you out.


“I’m at OCAD right now, and I would say it’s strategy driven more than concept driven. We’re very much focused on research and experimental thinking (i.e. biometrics, thinktank).”


It’s fun to know Karim worked for/under Gerry Beekenkamp. This was at a studio that is no longer in existence. Kypers Adamson Norton aka KAN. I believe Karim’s big project there it seems was Canada Post to do the super box or mailboxes.

My understanding is that or I hope that the design sort of got mangled by the time it hit production because somewhere along the line the design got to the point that it doesn’t function all that great.

I would assume Jan Kypers hired Karim. The partners sort of balanced each other, vision and technical. I would believe Adamson broke off. Norton was more practical. Gerry has been with the firm for years that it’s a shame they did not make him a partner.

KAN at the time was a class act and as many firms closed their doors when there was no succession path. This is a problem with firms so tightly knit with the founder. The founder retires and the firm is shuttered.

too busy working with no time to surf this forum.

yes u’re right, thank you for the correction