Social Animals: Tomorrow’s Designers in Today’s World

Sophia Parker’s new pamphlet entitled Social Animals: Tomorrow’s Designers in Today’s World [PDF 276K] uses a recent collaboration between the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and Engine (to examine the prison system) as a lens for critiquing the state of design education in the UK.

Lauren Tan from the Letters to Australia weblog succinctly paraphrases six areas of focus from the report:

  • Turning insights into action;
  • Co-design and the participation of people (also considering ethical codes of conduct);
  • Prototyping services;
  • Seeing the ‘bigger picture’ meaning taking into account the wider context projects operate in;
  • Communicating well both visually and verbally, including the ability to pitch ideas for investment;
  • Being not just problem solvers, but also ‘problem finders.’

Obviously this report is targeted toward design education overseas, but many of the findings resonate with my view of the landscape here in America as well. The lone criticism of the report itself (from a graphic design educator in Virginia) is “jargon, buzzwords, wild generalizations and the obvious restated.” Honestly, I’ve read the report twice and this seems like a breathtakingly misguided characterization.

[via Redjotter]




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