Ask Me Anything!

8 days ago from Debbie Millman, School of Visual Arts

  • Peter Lum, 8 days ago

    Hi Debbie! Love listening to design matters. I was wondering what your take is on design and design education is nowadays. We see a lot of people foregoing a formal college or switching careers to design from different walks of life and taking online courses. How do you view the importance of design schools, being a part of the formal system? Specifically, can anybody be a designer or do they have to go to school and does design education have to change?

    3 points
    • Debbie Millman, 8 days ago

      I think it is a gift to be taught how to do things by people that know how to do things and want to help you grow and develop. That type of education can take many forms. Some do well with college or university settings, some do better with online learning, some prefer one-on-one mentorship. My college experience at the State University at Albany ('83) was a defining experience in my life--not because of my design education (I took exactly one class on design), but because of how it helped me grow as a person and my exposure to two remarkable professors (Dr Helen Elam and Dr Deborah Dorfman) who taught me how to think critically, defend my ideas, and most important--gave me the impression that they thought I was smart. That was the first time in my life I felt that was and it was revelatory. That being said, college isn't for everyone and college debt is now soul crushing. Fortunately, I went to a state school that was affordable and worked through school so I didn't have much loan debt when I graduated. SO long story short, I think learning your craft and working to grow is a lifelong pursuit and if you are lucky to be able to be in a position to learn from others, I would jump at the change, at any phase of life or your professional journey.

      3 points
      • Peter Lum, 7 days ago

        Thanks for sharing! It's great to have mentors who instill confidence and make you feel emboldened to do your best work and I agree, any craft is a lifelong journey. Thanks for crystallizing that!

        0 points