I took a few exceptions with the article and some of the generalizations within, but then I continued reading past where I thought the article ended. The section "What if your design skills aren't good enough?" just makes this article seem like a long-winded plug for TheorySprints, the authors alternative to the high-education he is railing against.
I think I'd just rather know prior to reading the article if there was an agenda behind it vs. an authentic question being asked.
Hey there. I'm a design student at Bauhaus University here in Germany and read your article and also follow the vivid discussion about broken design education. Many points you made are true, but I would like to give you my point of view on some of those lines since I'm a student and those claims are about us.
"If you ask a design student, “What are you designing right now?” The answer is frequently: “I’m just a student, I’m not designing anything right now.”
I can only speak for myself, but I and plenty of my fellow design students have side projects whether private or with other students in an educational initiative going on all the time. I legit don't know anyone not having their fingers on a project.
"Design education should focus on training students about the day-to-day work of making design. Students should master over the fundamental principles of design, because those fundamentals make or break design careers."
In Germany, this is what a Design apprenticeship gives you. Bachelor and Master programs build up on those basics, but most people come from high school, skip the basics and go straight into university which proves your point.
"Because as a practicing designer, no one will hire you to have big ideas or make fun art projects. Especially as a new designer, clients will not trust you to direct a complex UX strategy."
I'm just in the third semester and am hired at a local software agency as a student for almost a year now. I get to design, prototype, join client-presentations and go through the whole process of making apps. They know I'm a student and that I'm learning, and I am very thankful for them giving me the chances I get. I think it's a misconception that "no one will hire you as a practicing designer" - that would only make sense if no one ever learned. From what I've seen in Germany the industry is warmly welcoming students and aspiring designers since there's a lack of them. It's clear that as a student you won't get hired as a freelancer, but starting with an internship at an agency there surely is a way for students to get their hands on the craft.
I think the better question would be "Are design educators failing new designers?"
That's a topic that needs examining.
I agree! The herd goes where the shepherd leads.
"Creating design is the only thing that makes you a designer."
That's like saying "Starting your own company makes you an entrepreneur" when in reality you're just a wantepreneur.
*this is only related to the specific quote, not to the whole article
I went into this thinking I'd hate it, but great points are being made. I've been an adjunct instructor before and recently left full-time design to become a full-time instructor who freelances on the side.
I teach at a community college who is known for having the best design program in the area, and it's because it's intense and very involved, but also because we drill the basics of visual communication into the students.
This line definitely spoke to me:
...learning high-level strategies instead of the practical, everyday skills required to actually create design.
This is what I see too much of now from young designers. Trying to sprint before they can even crawl. Worrying about brainstorming sessions with whiteboards that create photo opportunities for a blog post about the design process, before they even understand basic design principles.
I'm not a bitter design who dislikes where the design world has gone the last few years in relation to technology and startups. But I am consistently annoyed by the lack of basic fundamentals being focused on such as typography skills, and understanding basic hierarchy and balance.
Does this article present everything as best as it can? No. But it does put forward real issues that face young designers today. Learn the absolute basics before anything else, as they're not only your foundation, but also what may get you that first job that you leave after a year when you really know what you want to do.
It failed THIS old designer.
I quit my design education because it was far too broad and not even close to being useful. This is some 13-15 years ago though.
Need of the time; I would say. New era has needed some new ideas about every field of life. The way of life has been changed because I use https://www.topreviewstars.com/affordable-papers-review/ to get my papers work. Education has some conventional and outdated methods. New ideas will prevail and will overcome the shortcomings of the previous ones.
The University of Cincinnati design school has a great internship program. Over the summer or winter months, students get placed with high-profile design shops and technology companies to work as a full-time, paid intern.
I've worked with two such interns at a previous company. They came in with a good skill set and we cultivated and nurtured those skills so they would leave ready to work when they graduated. They are both fully employed at Bay area tech/design companies and doing quite well. Very proud of them.
This system works well and I'd love to see more schools doing this type of thing.
Honestly sounds like this author is just bitter about something - either his own personal design education or his hiring experiences with recent graduates in his geographical area, which I'm guessing didn't go well. Or maybe it is just a long-winded plug for his own product as Justin White said. Some things in this article are accurate, but I think it's also full of sweeping generalisations that aren't fair to apply to every design student everywhere.
Personally, I'm not too happy about my design education. While the classes were good from a theoretical perspective, my university did not set us up with enough real work experiences, like internships with local companies, etc. However, a bigger university right across the river from where I was going to school has an excellent design program (DAAP at UC, if anyone is familiar) which takes 5 years to complete because you alternate every semester between taking classes and doing co-ops in real design companies. They even can get you opportunities abroad if you're interested. So by the time you graduate you already have about 2 years of experience designing real client work, and most students who graduate from that program have a full-time job right after graduation because the university actually helps to place you at a company who needs new design talent.
(Yes, I'm a bit bitter that I made the wrong choice of university/design program.)