the old adage... what are design schools teaching?

I know its off topic, but as a quick note I think this comes down to a blurring between subjectivity and objectivity. I.e. in the case of aesthetics for sure, where a student is realising a product in the tutors favorite product group in a style not towards their liking. His the student needs to be able to objectivity backup their reasoning for such a ‘look’ while the tutor has to let go of their preconceptions of the product.

i am from the school of thought that if one has a will creative mind; no matter whom you learn from, you will find what you are looking for and need.

in reponse to a previous post, in art school i noticed a lot of teachers would heavily push their style and ideas.
i am not sure how i feel about that.

In response to the original post, and the questions therein, I think a lot of it has to do with coroflot’s set up. I dont think I have ever seen a decent portfolio on that site. It’s impossible to show a coherent process in that format. There are tons of talented people on there obviously, but the only thing you can really do is put a few bangin’ sketch pages up and some other eye catching stuff in hopes a perspective employer will be interested enough to go to your own website. Maybe thats the point, but then wouldn’t it be great to allow some kind of actual portfolio to be posted. Not sure if this ground has already been treaded and I’m rehashing old wounds if so I’m sorry, but I have been looking at a lot of those portfolios and its kinda driving me nuts.

Actually typing that out kinda made me change my mind about the original question, but I’m leaving it because I still think the above paragraph is valid.

That out I think the real problem may be with what graduating students think a perspective employeer wants to see ie flashy renderings and such as opposed to process and obviously solid technical skill.

One last addendum, I must say this is all complete speculation as I am still a student (and a young one at that) and have never even been remotely close to a position in which I would hire someone as a designer, but still I felt the desire to comment from what I have experienced talking to students from other schools/looking at other student work.

Wow and to think my last post was about brevity being the soul of wit.
Such is life.

Nowadays, coroflots portfolio section is a lot better than it used to be to show more process work to the designs. In the past, all you were able to put up were your 4-5 glory shots. Now you can organize them into different sets, etc so you could make one set for 1 project and have plenty of boards to support it.
There are just a lot of people that just put up the glory shots because that’s what grabs attention quickly. Also, you don’t want to spill all the beans on the website, you save the rest of the info for the interview. The corefolio should still be a bit of a teaser to make someone want to invite you in to see more or to talk. You wouldn’t want to show everything here and then have nothing different to show at the interview.

most pople who put their folio up can be just a rendering work. To show a process online is not practical too. But it is good networking on the web.

you pointed 2 important aspects:

– schools hiring their own students back : I always question that. Usually graduates who cannot work in the industry will try to return to teach at their own college. Although this may not always be the truth but the tendency for people to do that is high. Taking your own students back in to teach could also indicate that the school is intolerant to new ideas different from their own. To hire someone who has relatively little work or life experience is really a sign that the college has limited budget. On rarer cases, there are instances that the graduates who are asked back are genuinely talented and capable. But such chances are much far and few.

—Sinaporean graduates, though a very pragmatic lot, are showing signs of taking up art and design courses. The enrolment shows this sign. The only concern is that they want substance in a course that is mainly hard core. The arty-farty type will not appeal to these students. I have seen students who just walked out of a museum hall halfway through a presentation by a so-called world class art college. When i asked them why they left, they said the design lacked design thinking. And I can’t blame them. Some of the slides show students working in nude for no reason; and a few on cutting a bread open as a solution for having soup in the morning. These bear little to design work and portrays a shallow image of the college. Other students ask why these were done, the answer was ‘the students just felt they need to work in that manner’ was a very bad reply.

agree with what you have said. On the other hand, a good design should back up on its own without having to resort to talking too much about the product. The issue about visual aesthetics can be very subjective and thats one of the ways where even with back-up explanation, the master could still choose to grade down the student.

Say for an example, I only like European design, and if i was very subjective and biased, i could choose to grade down anyone who doesn’t play the euro card. That wouldn’t be fair at all. A good designer, and a fair one for that matter, should look into their respective cultures and see what their products are targetting at.

The world is an interesting place because of the diversity.Further no one likes uniformity and people will breed contempt for that. People are born to be different and prefer individuality.

Some thoughts from a student:

I feel that without the exiting art, no one cares about good ideas. There’s too much work out there to take time to try to understand a thought that isn’t pretty.

Don Norman talks about the Viseral apeal of products as it relates to the intellectual side. He thinks the first primal, emotional feelings toward a product effect the rational thoughts that come secondary. I try to apply this to my portfolio, which is an ad., for me, as a product. Flash the rendering to get the attention then seal the deal with the rational and process.

I see a lot of kids that don’t get it though. They just see the connection between flashy art and success, and as somone said earlier the kids are putting this stuff in, not the schools.

The schools can’t be blamed. There is no, fancy sneaker and cell phone rendering class. No prof. is telling students that that a cool portfolio page is the way to get a job. If I had a dime for everytime I heard a teacher mope about another sneaker, from a free project, I could buy a prismacolor.

Why no “world changing”, “design like you give a damn”, projects?

That stuff is hard. And comunicating those projects in portfolio form is harder. And there’s no guarnteed way to arrive at them. Spending 3 months on a failure is a great way to learn, but I can’t show it to employers. Spending three hours on a pretty cell phone with one innovative feature I can. I see a fine line in school between taking chances and taking the sure way.