I’m writing here because I need an advice. I graduated recently from a design university in Russia. Now I want to make a living in Europe, UK in particular. I realised (late sadly) that design education in Russia is no match for Europe and if I want to find work there, I must meet the proper requirements. So I’m thinking of improving my current knowledge to meet the European standarts and get acquainted with modern design techniques.
What would be better in my situation? I consider 1 year postgraduate course. Or it’s better to take a job and get some real practise (though I doubt that my portfolio is good enough)? Maybe there are other variants I don’t know about?
Please, help me. I will gladly accept any advise.
To answer your questions, I’ve read some http://www.designet.ru articles, and Russia is on a different level when it comes to design education. Russian education is very strong in terms of aesthetics and graphics, but it’s a little different in England. I’ve studied under British-run course in Ireland. For instance, in my dissertation project, I’m expected to learn some computer programming skills from scratch so I can write a simple program to make my design project work. As well as this, I also have to create a good aesthetic form, a working presentation model and posters for my project. I have 3 months to complete all of these tasks. This is similar standard of education to UK, Sweden and Germany. This is my example from Ireland, do you have to do similar things in Russia and were your requirements just as strict?
In Britain, you will be competing against graduates who have gone through similar education system that I did. With Russian education, you have one crucial advantage: good skills in drawing and visual thinking. You may get some graphic design jobs. However, this is not enough to meet the requrements for some good industrial design jobs. So if you are in Russia now and thinking of applying for jobs or postgraduate course, look at postgraduate courses first of all. I think it will be much better if you study one in Britain. You really need to familiarise yourself with how the design industry works in Britain, because it is slightly different to Russia. If you think what I have done for my dissertation is completely different to what you have done for yours, then definitely apply to postgraduate course.
By the way, I’m completely in the opposite situation as you are: I’m thinking of going on an internship in Russia. I know that Russia is not the greatest place on Earth, but I don’t mind this.
Get your portfolio posted up and so we can give you some feedback on what could be some good builds to help you on your way.
How is the visa situation and your ability to work in Europe? You can always try and get some experience some Russian studios such as Art Lebedev or similar which will help you learn some real world design skills after leaving collage.
Personally in design, the most valuable knowledge is just your everyday day experiences and observations, it is those fresh insights which are invaluable and cannot be learnt from a book. In reality if you have skills that other European designers are lacking in at your stage then it puts you at an advantage in the job market as you can offer something that others cannot.
Again post up your work.
Thank you very much for answering.
In my university the requirements were mostly like yours. The diffrence is that the first two years I studied the artistic aspects and enviromental design. It was because of the lack of students on an ID course. I actually studied with three teachers and each of them had diffrent views on the industrial design. So the requirements were diffrent each year. The major flaw of in education, in my opinion, was that every student creates product with little or no understanding of how it is going to be made, what materials are going to be used and how it actually works. It may not be a problem with small and simple things. But when it comes to such things as complex electro-mechanic devices, machinery and transport this flaw is really showing off. The thinking process is very abstract. All this only applies to my university. I have not had the opportunity to enroll in more strong university like Ural GAHA. Nevertheless I graduated with tought that there is still much more to learn. University gave me knowledge about overcoming design tasks and personal feelengs about the product’s visual apperiance. Now I’m seeking the a way to improve my skills in more practical way.
Thank you. I’m currently preparing my portfolio for coroflot. I’ll post it as soon as it will be ready.
Sadly, my works are not good enough for Art Lebedev studio. I really need to improve my current skills. I think the European education can give me a much stronger boost than any education here.