For those of you who may have missed it we here in SAV just had a faculty show. I had a difficult time trying to justify this event so this is part of what I presented along with a print-out of my most recent twitter posts and accompanying printed links/site shares:
Think. Share. Educate.
In my endeavor to ﬁnd my way in design education I have spent a great amount of time over the past year researching and reading ways to inform the ‘designer of 2015’. This search has lead me to become very interested in what is termed ‘design thinking’. The term can be traced back to the writing of Walter Gropius who stated, “Design is neither an intellectual nor a material affair, but simply an integral part of the stuff of life, necessary for everyone in a civilized society.” Understanding the ‘meta-’ implication of this statement I do not personally believe that design, in and of itself, can solve all of the world’s ills, but can be a signiﬁcant contributor to the formation of workable solutions and therefore needs to be thought of more for its intellectual contributions than for its material outcomes.
By its very nature I feel that the title of this years exhibition is quite appropriate to the ‘thinking’ nature that I speak of. Does it make sense for the designer of 2015 to make more?, or less? Do we need more superfluous ‘toys’? Maybe the answer to the communication problem is to do nothing? This seems counterintuitive, especially for what was traditionally a ‘making’ profession. This does not preclude the need for things, whether they be posters, annual reports, packages, etc.. But I sincerely believe that, from a systemic position, the designer must truly understand that every object created has an effect. Could it be that the effect is one of negativity without that being its initial intention?
During my years as a practicing designer, I spent long hours thinking and making for others. I did not consider myself, nor do I now consider myself, an ‘artist’. I was tasked with communicating the business needs of others to an audience, so the thought of making just for the sole purpose of doing so never was a goal; neither has it been a goal to ‘say something’ in terms of graphic authorship. This does not mean that I do not appreciate these more artistic endeavors; as a matter of fact, I am a huge supporter of these concepts. But from my personal perspective, I never felt the need beyond my ‘day job’ to create. Instead I found joy and happiness in entertaining the physical nature of life to counter balance the intellectual engagement of the days work.
With this in mind, I have been searching for ways to enliven my student’s educational experience while introducing them to design thinking. This has recently lead me to social media: twitter, blogs, facebook, etc. Since many of the individuals that I am charged with educating spend a good deal of time interacting with their computer screen, why not try to use this as a way to share, and in turn, educate them? So, instead of a piece of ‘art’ you see before you a portion of the resources and ﬁndings that I have engaged myself with during this time.
I would be more than happy to continue this intellectual discourse as a way to further my own education in this area. I greatly appreciate your time and attention.
Please return for Part II of this thought, entitled “I am NOT an artist”.
(Originally posted 10/4/2009)