Design-Focused University: Is It Really Needed?

The baby boomers are gone, and we need a new breed to continue what they started.

Today, design is an obligatory and additional academic subject in majority of American universities. Design is being taught only as a minor skill that is added in every student’s curriculum. It‘s taken so lightly that it slowly affects and undermines the current design industry. Although there are design-focused courses offered at some universities in this country, the numbers are not enough.

A lot of writers, designers and critics have expressed their thoughts about the importance of having a university that will solely focus on Design. In fact, this call to put more importance on a creative class has been around for years. A lot of books about it has been published and reissued; newspapers and magazine have tackled it as well. However, the problem is still there.

We have to admit, the baby boomers of design are ageing and most of them are already gone. Although we still have new breeds to give us new and innovative approach to design, their number are not enough. Only few are making a name for the industry because most designers today end up employed in a commercial firm where they hardly contribute to the general need of the industry. They are too busy satisfying their clients and bosses. What the industry needs is a new breed of innovators that will create change in the industry, not a new breed of employed designers.

What is really wrong with being a commercially employed designer? None. Yet, in the last few years, the heavy demand for commercial designs created a stronghold that bound talented, employed designers and kept them away from moving outside the boundaries of their companies, while independent designers spent their design careers sharing their knowledge by educating young designers and creating change in the industry itself with their innovative ideas.

Erudite vs. Autodidact

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