This year i graduated from NIFT India… as product designer
the last three years of my design education has been ful of struggle and lows ,being bullied and forced upon every idea. during this period i saw my individuality dying and finally dead. I cannot help but feel that i m a clone of the earliear design generations, struggling to be a big fish in ocen of people just like me.
my question “are design schools today producing MASS DESIGNERS or INDIVIDUAL DESIGNERS?”
i have never been out of india, and haven’t seen the scenario in other countries. through this forum i would like to kno the opinion of ever1. am i the only one feeling this way?
again it goes back to the concept that many people think design enjoys a great degree of freedom like art but it doesn’t.
however, if you like to sell your design work as mass produced art you need to establish a language, like artists do, and find your own clients. it might be difficult because not everyone is willing to pay for something that’s not industry standard, and as a professional designer your individuality will most of the time be challenged by what is already out there, and, compared, maybe even restricted to design elements that are always in a well established methodology framework and/or understood in the industry as workable.
today’s design is either market /brand driven, cost/time driven, or manufacturing/logistic driven or a combination of these factors.
it’ll be important for you to study and analyze the difference between these two modes of thinking, namely artistic and commercial design before commiting yourself to a certain philosophy.
i don’t believe any school has any courses focusing or elaborating on sorting it out for individual student because most of it requires the experience of going through multiple projects from concept to finish in a real design environment situation and a lot of experimentational time.
aside the technically oriented parameters, the individual’s exploration of certain possiblities like signature conceptual thought or stylistic individuality is all something that is done after the designer has successfully created work which is recognized as innovative or influential.
-Grad schools tend to work on design leadership abilities, undergrad on skills.
But yes, all the schools I think of fall in one camp or the other.
One thing to think of though is that it is now possible to self-produce design. If your definition of success doesn’t rely on the accaptance of the mass market. it can be a way to develop an individual viewpoint and make money doing it.
Right now you see it with furniture, tabletop and fashion. But that will soon change.
Just remember that when you work for the man, well you work for the man.