Definitely an interesting read (if a little outdated, first appearing in 2010) over my morning coffee. I’d love to read an up-to-date edition/response on a similar vein:
Max Gadney argues that information design should be a compulsory part of every graphic design course
Reflecting on the work at my graduation show that attracted the most attention by professionals and visitors alike, it is little wonder that this article hasn’t resurfaced sooner. Personally, I would say that a project demanding sharp understanding of the actual matter at hand is far more beneficial than regurgitating research into style.
So many of the projects I undertook and was surrounded by in the classroom, had undefined solutions and parameters. While I understand this may have been necessary for students to find our own ways of working and directions, within a flexible frame, I can say wholeheartedly that there are times I would have appreciated “a steer, not more ‘self-direction’ ” when I was bogged down in how exactly to demonstrate my understanding- a poster set, leaflets, balloon drops, smoke signals, paper planes etc.
It took a very long time for me to ignore the anxiety that arose when I did not have an fixed end product in my mind, and sometimes wonder whether this merely pandered to the fine artist in me. I appreciate that having no fixed target can be beneficial to creativity and will often lead to unexpected results- thinking out of the box if you will- but letting it run free seems to require a feat of self discipline that might not be available to students during their first exposure to design at that level.
I love projects that I can get my teeth stuck into, understanding the subject, how it works and what issues it connects with, so with this is mind I am setting myself a little challenge. I am now on the lookout for some data to crunch through and play with. Even if it becomes side project scribblings in a notebook to break from the monotony of placement hunting, I think it will keep me ticking over in many respects.