Lack of teaching professional presence on the boards?

I’ve been reading the forums since 2005 after one of my Political Science teachers (ha!) turned me on to the forums, and over the years I’ve noticed the lack of strong ID teaching professional representation on the boards. I know that several of the professionals who post frequently do engage in some teaching/workshops from time to time (yo, RK, snugja, etc), but I’ve noticed no strong full time teacher presence on the boards.

I guess the reason why I ask is less about knowing who the teaching-core77 members are (and I understand the preference for anonymity), but I’m more interested in the opportunity for the boards to serve as a sounding board for faculty to discuss the state of design education as they see it. We have strong representation from the business perspective on the state of design education, and similarly from the student perspective, but not much, that I’ve seen, from the teacher’s perspective.

As a student I’m interested in design education (for obvious reasons) but it’s hard to find substantive discussion on the topic, perhaps due to the relative newness of the profession, or perhaps because designers tend not to verbalize what they are doing?

It would seem to me that if the boards are such a successful way for students and design professionals to interact why not the same for design educators? Any ideas or thoughts?

I teach two classes per quarter at my local school. Been doing it since late 2000. As a profession, we need more professionals involved in education.

Good observation. I’m not sure why that is, but there have only ever been a couple on here. It would be great of more full time faculty engaged in the conversation.

At this years IDSA NED conference I was on the “Design Education Revolution” panel. In addition to myself representing the professional side, there was Michael Menone from Evo, Katie Wray from Tellart, Aiden Petrie of Ximedica (and a past professor of mine from RISD). Representing the education side was James Reed from Mass Art, Alan Ruddig from RIT, and I want to say someone from Syracuse as well? The debate was pretty heavy and we did not really agree on much, which was great.

It would be fantastic to get some of those communcations going on here so we could challenge each other.

So here is an “assignment” to the students reading this. I’d like you to forward this to your instructors and tell here engaging the community! Or PM me their email if you would like me to send them a personal invite.

A recent end of quarter crit that was a little tense between me and my professor, to put it lightly, and a comment by Yo over on the “Project Feedback and Context” thread reminded me to revisit this thread now that I’ve gotten my first year of ID instruction at DAAP almost wrapped up.

I’ve definitely had a good year and have a genuine respect for all of my instructors, DAAP has some awesome professors with a lot of knowledge and experience; but it’s been extremely hard to not ruffle too many feathers at times that I just flat out disagree with their teaching methods or their expectations of our projects. Because I spent so much time reading through the Boards before I started design school I feel like I came in with the mentality of WWC77S? (What would Core 77 Say?). It’s been difficult trying to push projects outside of just proving competency of sketching, or 3D modeling or model making, and trying to keep asking why? Why does this need to be changed? What is the problem we’re solving? Who’s the user? Why? Why? Why? Why are we just making more widgets, more of the same crap that’s out there?

Being a stylist is pretty easy, and that’s why stylists are so disposable. But having substance, creating products with substance, products that outlive trends, that’s extremely difficult; not only to execute but probably more so to teach. That’s the major difference I’ve experienced so far with my school experience vs. my Core 77 experience. Professors seem much more comfortable with students playing it safe, they’d much rather see you aim a little lower than you’d like to and not get burned when things fail. Whereas I’m more of a shoot for the stars and don’t be sad if you only make it to the moon type of person. Failure is always an option, and if it’s working everytime, you’re probably not doing anything innovative or interesting. I’ve learned more in my failures this quarter than I have my successes.

I might be asking too much since it’s only my first year of ID and I have 3 more; but the more I’m in school the more apparent the huge disconnect between what most of the Core77 defines as valuable in the design process and what I see praised in school.

I’d love to hear from other students or professors on the topic.

Choto, it gets better later on in the program. Sophomore year at DAAP is still about building up your skills. The stance sophomore year is more or less “Gotta learn to communicate your idea” before you can start focusing on solely on the content.

Around 3rd year they figure your skills are up to par and focus more on the concept behind things since the rest become second nature. So if Gerry was critiquing more your actual model and less at the concept, don’t fret it. I’m assuming you are in the power tool project right now. Which is more an exercise in the design process and less of trying to break down a problem. So the emphasis is placed on cool renders and sketches and less on the innovation of the design.

Why? Because you could have the coolest concept in the world, but scribbles on paper aren’t going to help you sell it (At least at this point in your career). So the kid that can draw like like a savant, is going to get more praise on a crappy design because the medium in which he in presenting in becomes transparent. It no longer becomes how cool the sketch/render is, but how cool that product is. As opposed to a lesser quality sketch where you focus a lot on what is wrong with the sketch and then design secondary.

What I’m trying to say with that is, don’t worry too much about what is said in a crit. The teachers are there to guide you and push you out of your comfort zone. So even though you may disagree with them on something, they are still shaping your view. Forcing you to come up with a better solution or a better way to present your initial idea. You are an expert in your own project, you do all the research, but in the end its comes down to the first impression the average consumer/client gets from your design. If something doesn’t feel right to your professor, its probabbly will make others feel the same way too.