I find fault with the learning curve at SCAD. It takes a leap of faith, and that faith is based on standardization in classifying designers. We, as designers are taught to think with open minds and to expand our foundation exponentially. Always think “outside the box”, nothing is ever too “blue sky”, several methodologies are taught to us as students to become excellent problem solvers.
We can combine any random number of words, put up several post-its, and stare at what we have written down. Eventually it comes to us, some sort of visual stimulant evokes our sixth sense of design.
Design opportunities are revealed through our ability to dissect and process mass amounts of data.
Design solutions stem from our ability to visual translate abstract ideas into concrete concepts.
So, as an approach to teach designers who they are, is a mistake on many levels. To tell a designer something is a step in the wrong direction, i believe it is a designers instinct to automatically take something the wrong way. For instance, someone that is told what to do or what to design will instantly rebel.
It’s just natural, because the best design is different, its is innovative, and it reaches the senses in new and profound ways.
We should give young designers this same freedom.
With “Design Yourself”, students are not contained in the bubble of standardization. They are not told who they are or what they can be.
Instead, they as designers create unique interactions and experiences.
They determine the rules, the expectations, and create a world they deem fit. Not only are they creating, but they are telling the teachers so much about themselves as designers. This is the perfect ethnography, the perfect dissection of the mind. No containment, no boundaries, a chance to let students grow mentally, expose themselves. No longer will designers be measured in strengths and weaknesses, for they are burdens that trap the mind.
The designers now expose clear strategies, and they work within the moment.
Nothing is wrong and nothing is right. There is no failure.
The biggest problem that any designer or artist faces is the blank canvas. “Design Yourself” is a foundation to build from. It is blank, but it bears meaning deep inside. This is the layer designers must learn to penetrate. It comes through instinct. Whatever the connotations might be, how they interpret them, will tell the story of each individual designer. It can be worked on as a group or as individuals. These games allow freedom.
Freedom gives light to creation.
Creation makes the designer as the designer creates.