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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)


This young student's name, country of origin, and the specific design school she attended are not important. But in this video she explains why she was motivated to study industrial design. At nearly ten minutes long the video is a bit rambling (cut the kid some slack), but one of the relevant stories is from 1:45 to 3:30 in the video; around 6:28 she discusses how she sees ID as the perfect blend of art and science, although it was actually her second choice as a major; and starting at 8:20 she reveals her perception of ID programs as being more cooperative than competitive. (Was not the case for me, but I guess your mileage may vary.)

So why are we showing you that video? Because later on she decided to quit ID, and explained why in this next video. At just over four minutes this one's a bit tighter, and while some of her points obviously have to do with her specific personal traits, other points she makes might hit home for some of you, depending on your program:


Posted by Mason Currey  |  15 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)


Last month we asked the chairs of 11 leading industrial-design programs to talk to us about the evolution of ID education for our D-School Futures interview series. Since then we've received word of two new master's programs in design that seemed worthy of additional comment. In New York, Parsons is launching an MFA in industrial design—and we'll have an interview with Rama Chorpash about that program in the coming days.

Today, we're checking in on a master's program with a broader, more interdisciplinary focus. The University of Michigan's Stamps School of Art & Design is currently accepting applications for a Master of Design in Integrative Design. It's a two-year program with an interesting approach—the idea is that students with a variety of design backgrounds will work together in teams to invent solutions for a wicked problem that will rotate every few years. The inaugural problem is "wicked healthcare," and Stamps has lined up medical companies, biomedical engineers, surgeons and others to participate in the curriculum.

Recently, we talked to Bruce M. Tharp—a long-time Core77 contributor and a new addition to the Stamps faculty—about the MDes program. The following is an edited and condensed version of our conversation.

Core77: Who is this program for?

Bruce Tharp: We imagine that our ideal candidates are probably industrial designers, interaction designers, graphic designers, interior designers/architects—people in that design space. But we're excited about the possibility of students with other skills sets and proficiencies who also have experienced design in some professional setting. Of course, the program itself is highly cross-disciplinary. There is tremendous integration of non-design information and experts—for the current "wicked healthcare" theme, we have on board medical companies, a children's hospital, biomedical engineers, surgeons, technologists, entrepreneurial faculty and many more who will be integrated into the curriculum.

This idea of designers working to solve big societal problems—is that a career or a profession that exists now, or is it one that you're trying to help create?

The program is what we think is a 21st-century program for 21st-century design. The idea is that these are big, complex problems that are tackled in cross-disciplinary teams, collaboratively, with more of a systems approach. This is the way a lot of designers are now working, and that I would say design is increasingly being asked to work. So this is partly a response to the world and it's also partly a call to the world as well, about what design can do and its potential.

Now, that doesn't mean that there isn't a role in the world for what we would call 20th-century design or design education. In graduate education, that really comes from the MFA model, where you're working independently on a thesis project of your choosing, and it's something that you can generally handle in a year. That's a completely valid way of working and there are lots of applications for that kind of work, but increasingly designers are being asked to do more.

Design has a lot of visibility now, and other disciplines are saying, "Wow, what if we could use design in this way?" So the program is inviting design into more complex arenas. I think designers are really uniquely positioned to work on these wicked problems, but it demands that we be educated in a different way.


Posted by core jr  |   9 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


If you're checking out grad schools for next September, be sure to take a look at the MFA in Products of Design program at SVA in New York City. Chaired by Core77's Allan Chochinov, the department will welcome guests to its Information Session/Open House on Saturday, November 8th, from 1pm - 4pm. Meet faculty and students, tour the department and Visible Futures Lab, and preview projects and the curriculum. Here's a bit more:

"Please join us for our Open House and Information Session. The MFA in Products of Design is an immersive, two-year graduate program that creates exceptional practitioners for leadership in the shifting terrain of design. We educate heads, hearts and hands to reinvent systems and catalyze positive change.

"Students gain fluency in the three fields crucial to the future of design: Making, from the handmade to digital fabrication; Structures: business, research, systems, strategy, user experience and interaction; and Narratives: video storytelling, history and point of view. Through work that engages emerging science and materials, social cooperation and public life, students develop the skills to address contemporary problems in contemporary ways.

"Graduates emerge with confidence, methods, experience and strong professional networks. They gain the skills necessary to excel in senior positions at top design firms and progressive organizations, create ingenious enterprises of their own, and become lifelong advocates for the power of design."

Check out all the goings on at the department goings at their site, and RSVP for the Open House/Information Session event here.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   8 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

0PoltronaFrau-Lab.jpgParsons design students working with Poltrona Frau

It's been a long time since Pratt Institute, my alma mater, was the only game in town for those looking to earn Industrial Design degrees in New York City. These days Core77's own Allan Chochinov heads up the Products of Design MFA program at the School of Visual Arts, while crosstown rival Parsons The New School for Design offers a BFA in Product Design. Now the latter school is extending their offering, rolling out an MFA in Industrial Design.

Under skipper and veteran designer Rama Chorpash, the two-year program "will prepare designers to negotiate the seemingly contradictory forces at play at all scales of product design. You critically engage with issues such as production and sustainability, consumerism and social and environmental betterment, and global and local industry, integrating these considerations to improve industry, human life, and the planet."

Ah, NYC design education then and now. The neighborhood of early '90s Pratt was blighted by the tail-end of the crack epidemic, our precinct had the highest crime rate in all of New York City (tied only with the South Bronx), students were mugged with regularity and acquiring art supplies meant waiting for a G train that ran about as frequently as the Space Shuttle. And now there are not one, but multiple ID-related programs in Manhattan proper, in nice, safe neighborhoods with their own art supply stores. No, I'm not bitter. Enjoy your design educations, you lousy....

Parsons' MFA in Industrial Design program rolls out in Fall of 2015. Later this month, a panel discussion at Parsons called "Product City: Shortening the Supply Chain" will serve as the program's official kickoff.

Posted by core jr  |   7 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


Last month's design-education spectacular is over, but please indulge us as we present one more piece of (belated) back-to-school content. As we were compiling those interviews, confessions and FAQs, we thought it would also be fun to ask some established designers to tell us about their own most memorable d-school moments. So we reached out to a bunch of folks and asked them each the same question:

What's the craziest, most outrageous or most regrettable product or project you dreamed up during design school?

Here are answers from ten noteworthy contemporary designers.


Misha Kahn

Initially, I was sure it was this thing I made called the Unimelt 5000, which melted chocolate creatures and turned them into hot chocolate. Inside was some pretty wily electrical work, including a hair dyer, a milk frother, a blender and a garden hose. But then I was looking through some school photos, and there's a laundry list of questionable choices! Others include a coffee table that you had to lube up and spin into an orgasm; a giant waffle standing on syrup drips; a cast rubber chair; and a giant wall-mounted wrecking ball.


Karim Rashid

I was far too serious in university to develop anything really crazy and outrageous. But when I was teaching at RISD in 1991, I developed concept projects to inspire my students. I would produce pedagogy based on our future digital tools. Here is a mobile phone "tree" that was composed of a small mobile handset and removable touch screens with real-time images so you could leave your last video call image up on the tree to remind you of your family or friends. In 1991 this was only a fantasy that now is a reality.


Max Lipsey

The first thing I thought of was this project for Nike to design the shoe of the future. I came up with a shoe filled with live bone cells, and the structure of the shoe would form/grow around your foot as you walk. I still think it's kind of a cool idea, but pretty far out-there. As I recall, my teachers were not so thrilled, nor was Nike. Some fellow students found it to be as awesome as I did, while others thought that it's super icky (which it is). No regrets, though!


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   1 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)


To the uninitiated, a CNC mill might sound like a complicated, intimidating and excessively expensive machine to own and operate. And that might have been true twenty years ago. But now we live in an age where the prices are coming down and the interfaces are becoming ever-easier to use—something like what the original Mac did for desktop publishing. So if you're an independent designer or small business owner looking to prototype or produce your own stuff, now is the time to look into a CNC mill. And we're excited to bring you this new series on how to use one.

With regular video updates, we'll walk you through a basic but powerful 3-axis machine and show you everything you need to know in order to operate one, starting with a group of introductory videos and then diving into a step-by-step project. And in order to be as inclusive as possible, we've opted to take a "...For Dummies" approach—so whether you're a traditional shop vet or have never used a power tool in your life, we believe that you, too can use a CNC mill by understanding certain principles and systematically learning to use some basic software.

The first question you would-be CNC millers might have is, which machine should I look at? There are several different affordable desktop CNC mills on the market, and we decided to go with ShopBot, for a variety of important reasons:

Next up we'll give you an overview of the machine, then show you how to set it up.

Posted by Moa Dickmark  |  29 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


Over the past few years, since I've started researching education, learning spaces and social education projects, my network has expanded exponentially. This was to be expected, considering how much time I've spent on various platforms trying to find out what is going on out there. Another thing that was expected was to see just how small the education circle really is. Everyone knows everyone in one way or another, or is just one degree removed from them.

In the beginning of my research, when I had just started my master studies at Aarhus Architecture School, I got in contact with Rosan Bosch and her work at Vittra School at Telefonplan in Stockholm, Sweden. This is where I first got into contact with Jannie Jeppesen, then headmaster of Vittra Skolan, now head of of Rebel Learners.


An unexpected meeting on the subway

Rebel Learners is a new initiative created by Rektorsakademin Utveckling (RAU), who also arranges SETT, Scandinavia's biggest education conference, and are the creators behind the podcast Skolsnack (School Chat) and Learning Narratives, a new game developed to build future learning environments.

The short version is that Rebel Learners is a course for teacher-students developed by teacher-students to upgrade and gain knowledge that they feel that they are not learning at their current institutions.

Rebel Learners came about after Fredrik Svensson, former principal and now CEO for RAU, met a former student of his on the subway in Stockholm. She told him that she was studying to become a teacher, but that she wasn't satisfied with the education she was receiving from the university. None of her teachers were actively working outside of the university world, which left her feeling that they were lacking the sort of practical knowledge that she was going to need when she started working.

Sweden has a lot of challenges ahead: Amongst others, the country will be 40,000 teachers short of its needs by 2020; in Stockholm alone, the amount of students will increase from 60,000 to 90,000 Moreover, people who decide to study to become a teacher often are looked upon as if they only chose their field of studies due to lack of any other decision.

Instead of complaining and whining about obstacles, RAU decided to do something about it, they created Rebel Learners as a way to bring a positive and professional voice to the discussion about education as well as to support and lift teacher students, and active teachers, with the help of a vast network of professionals and partners as well as courses, seminars and other events.



Posted by erika rae  |  18 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


It's always interesting to revisit past Core77 Design Awards honorees and learn what they've been up to since then—while we'd certainly be flattered if a C77DA honor was a designer's greatest accomplishment, we hope that they continue to grow and explore. Leyla Acaroglu took home a trophy in 2013 for her hand in the Design Play Cards: Designing for Sustainability, and has since made her mark as a disruptive designer, sustainability provocateur and educator. The jury team recognized the project as an award-worthy attempt to teach a much-debated skill: design thinking. Now, her latest project takes a less obvious—yet just as intriguing—stab at doing the same thing, in a more social atmosphere.

Acaroglu has launched the Un-School of Disruptive Design with social entrepreneur Heidi Sloane and artist Yvette King. While the actual space won't open its doors until 2015, the school is off the ground and running with a series of events to take place this fall in New York City.


The Un-school recently hosted a launch party at the AIGA National Design Center where they introduced teasers to their fall activities. The school seems to have launched very recently, making their event planning and party success quite impressive; here's the group's mission statement, to give you a better idea of what they're all about:

Design is the silent social influencer that shapes and scripts the way we live in the world—at the Un-School, we are disrupting the way in which design is viewed and used. We work with designers, artists and innovators on provocative and fun activations and events for positive social and environmental change. We invite you to come un-learn and un-do at the un-school.


Posted by core jr  |  17 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-Conclusion-1.jpgThe more things change, the more they stay the same. Photos by Kyle Oldfield, winner of our design school photo contest

Yesterday we published the last installment of our D-School Futures series, in which we interviewed the chairs of 11 leading industrial design programs about the evolution of ID education. Along the way, we gleaned quite a few insights into what it's like to be an ID student today, how schools are reacting to rapid changes in the industry, and what all of this means for incoming students and recent graduates. For those of you who haven't had time to read the full series—or who just love a good listicle—here's our shortlist of five essential takeaways.

1. Now Is a Really Good Time to Launch a Design Career
OK, so you would expect the chairs of design programs to be bullish about the profession; they couldn't very well tell us that now is a crummy time to get a degree from one of their programs. Even so, our interviewees gave us the distinct impression that now actually is a really good time to be getting into industrial design, or any design field for that matter. With the economy looking increasingly healthy, design firms are hiring new graduates at a steady clip—and, more importantly, businesses of all stripes are continuing to recognize the importance of design to their bottom lines.

2. Designing Physical Stuff Is Not Becoming Less Important—If Anything, the Opposite Is True
Worried that designers of actual, physical stuff are going to become obsolete in the coming decades, as more and more of our daily tasks are handled by digital tools? Don't be. As several of our interviewees noted, physical objects are not going away anytime soon—and, besides, as digital tools become more advanced, people will expect richer and more nuanced experiences in ye olde three-dimensional world. "While our tools and experiences are moving toward digital interactions, there will always be physical, visual or multi-sensorial manifestations that are part of the input and output of those interactions," Art Center's Karen Hofmann told us. "Design will be the differentiator in how successful or meaningful those product experiences will be."


Posted by core jr  |  16 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


This is the final installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from from Lisa Norton, director of Designed Objects within the Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects (AIADO) Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tomorrow we'll have a list of what we consider the biggest insights and lessons from this eleven-part interview series.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

Industrial design education today is vastly different with respect to technology, manufacturing, distribution and the roles of designers within changing and expanding markets for their skills and offerings. Due to the exponentially increasing speed of the diffusion of innovation and the fact that design touches all sectors, I think it's safe to say that both design education and design practice will experience decisive shifts generated from within and outside of academia.

What would you say to a prospective student who worries about the relevance of an ID education in an increasingly digital world?

Industrial design practice and pedagogy are always changing in order to keep pace with emerging digital tools and new possibilities. Many leading programs in industrial design have long ceased making a distinction between digital and analog approaches to design education. Digital and analog methods are complementary avenues along a continuum of technological developments. Given the wide range of research, ideation and production choices available to designers today, it is no longer possible to make meaningful distinctions between these terms.

DSchoolFutures-SAIC-2.jpgLisa Norton and student work from the Designed Objects progam


Posted by core jr  |  16 Sep 2014  |  Comments (2)

IfIKnew.jpgThe Aronoff Center at UC DAAP, shortly after it opened in 1996 (L) and present day (R). Photos by Patricio Ortiz and Kyle Oldfield.

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, a comparison of ID degree options, some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers), insight into why it's never too late to get into ID, a handy list of resume do's and don'ts, and advice on overcoming design OD. This is our ultimate list of pro tips.

Like any forum, the C77 boards are full of smack talk and advice, but some corners are more sage than others. For our seventh and final Discussion Board Digest, here is our updated and evergreen collection of the choicest advice and insight that older designers wish they'd had when they were students, aggregated and adopted from the OG discussion thread "If I Knew Then What I Know Now."

Ready? There are a lot of 'em, so pay attention:

Body Basics
Food and sleep. Skimp on either and it'll dock your ability to think and work effectively. Yes, you will be broke sometimes. Yes, there will always be tight deadlines and red-eye projects. But if it comes down to getting a couple more hours of sleep vs putting the maximum finish on a model before a critique, opt for the sleep: you'll be more coherent, more convincing and able to get more out of the feedback. And basic nutrition is required for basic neural functioning. The guy who lives on ramen is probably not doing so well synaptically, and your ability to think critically and remember stuff is the point of being in school. Balancing your diet right now is worth having to balance your bank account later.

Get in the Studio!
Spend as much time as you can bear in the studio. As several people have mentioned, it's impossible to do great work at your desk in the dorm, and having a dedicated space to get your thoughts out and work through ideas is important. Camaraderie and company are helpful too, and you can learn a ton from peers. Though it's less sexy than a bolt of inspiration from on high, good work truly only comes with effort and hours, or as Frank Tibbolt put it: "Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." So get in there.

...But Get Out of the Studio Too
A breath of fresh air can make all the difference when you're stumped on creative pursuits, and inspiration strikes in unexpected places. Leave the studio if you're feeling stuck, take a walk or get a coffee, do something else with your eyes and mind and body and you'll find it easier when you get back. When you're not on assignment try to visit new places, different departments, and take in work outside of your focus. Movies, plays, lectures and art are all idea-stimulating and easy to find on campus.

Keep Sketching
Spend a lot of time improving your sketching. A lot. Really. Like, you can't spend too much time doing it, so stop reading and start sketching. Of all the technical skills a designer is expected to have, this is regarded as the single most important one. Practice a lot, not to impress anyone with your art chops, but so you can stay out of your own way and uncover ideas while problem solving. Sketching is faster than any other form of model-building or rendering. It's a portable, cheap, and (if you're good) immediate communication of ideas. It's the tool at the very core of being a designer. Careers have been launched over great napkin sketches—don't blow it off.


Posted by core jr  |  15 Sep 2014  |  Comments (5)

DSchoolFutures-Cincinnati-1.jpgVehicle design by Brett Stoltz, exhibited at DAAPworks 2014

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Craig Vogel, associate dean of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), and a professor in the School of Design with an appointment in Industrial Design.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

ID has continued to evolve since it came of age in the 1930s. The last decade has witnessed several key changes. Design process has continued to decrease in time from concept to market. Globalization in development and distribution has continued, and new markets continue to grow as emerging economies have developed a middle class hungry for products and services. Major markets have shifted from the U.S. and Europe to Asia, South America and countries in Africa. Companies are realizing that green design is not only responsible but profitable as well. Baby boomers in the U.S. and their peers in global markets are creating new market demands in inclusive design, and women dictate much of the consumer spending for domestic products.

Perhaps the biggest change, however, is the shift in emphasis from standalone products and interfaces to interconnected products integrated into the growing service economy. MAYA's concept of trillions provides a clear insight into this factor, and products like Nest demonstrate the need for designers to think of products embedded in systems.

Sports and performance products will continue to be a major area for design, as humans around the world seek to be more active and healthy. The concept of soft products overlapping with fashion has continued to complement traditional "hard" product categories. Shoe design is the new car design. Medical design continues to grow and expand with the emphasis on empathic centered healthcare, the percentage growth of individuals over 75, and the decentralization of healthcare. More patients are healing at home or choosing to age in place. Interest in opportunities for socially responsible design is also growing. Companies and individual designers are seeking to serve the needs of a global community at the base of the pyramid, who lack the resources to pay for design but are desperately in need of design services.

The role of design continues to expand horizontally and vertically as design processes and ways of thinking are seen as valid for strategic planning as well as product implementation. Finally, entrepreneurial opportunities are increasing and will continue to grow in the next decade as the cost of product development and introduction into small and medium markets allow young designers to start their own companies. Many students come to college today seeking to launch their own companies rather than looking for consultant or corporate opportunities. Students are combining social responsibility with new funding options, and they can compete in local markets and global markets with new ways to develop and distribute products. Cincinnati is one of many cities creating the new economy of young entrepreneurs networking locally and globally. Design Impact is a small Cincinnati-based company focused on local and global design for social change. Design also exists at various levels of scale; LPK and Spicefire are two examples of global consultancies based in the city. P&G continues to maintain its commitment to design integration across their business units and in R&D. Clay Street is a novel design-innovation function within the company, and Shane Meeker is the only industrial designer running one of the largest company archives in the world.

DSchoolFutures-Cincinnati-2.jpgLeft: Craig Vogel. Right: Scooter by Miranda Steinhauser and wheelchair concept by Sandra Lin, both exhibited at DAAPworks 2014

DSchoolFutures-Cincinnati-3.jpgShoe design by Jon Kosenick


Posted by core jr  |  12 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-SVA-1.jpgTop left: Ziyun Qi and Wan Jung Hung at a futuring workshop. Other images: The Cloud and a thesis presentation, both by Richard Clarkson

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from our own Allan Chochinov, partner of Core77 and chair of the Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

I believe it's very different than it was a decade ago, and certainly will look different again in the medium-term future. Of course, much of this change is precipitated by tools and technology (digital manufacturing, physical computing, crowdfunding/sourcing platforms, etc.), but there have also been sea changes in the way we think about design and its offerings—the shift from product to service, systems thinking, design thinking, sharing ecologies, economies of abundance, interdisciplinarity—to name a handful.

But perhaps the biggest impact on design education will stem from one of the most important high-water marks right now: Design can finally be understood and engaged in as a more social, collaborative and transparent enterprise...hopefully with a discourse to match. So we need design programs whose pedagogy (both technical and philosophical) can respond to all these changes nimbly and quickly, and which understand design to be a fundamentally participatory enterprise poised to fortify for a time when the world desperately needs it most. (Of course, you could effectively argue that design has created most of the problems we're currently facing!) On the supply side, I think there will be many, many options for design education—from deep, prolonged investigations through undergraduate and graduate programs to less formal, a-la-carte classes, hackathon-inspired intensives and online learning. Design is unquestionably enjoying its moment right now, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

DSchoolFutures-SVA-2.jpgClockwise from bottom left: Allan Chochinov; Presence by Kathryn McElroy; Shine by Cassandra Michel (worn by Charlotta Hellichius)


Posted by core jr  |  11 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-ArtCenter-1.jpgRecent Art Center graduate Kristina Marrero's Dextris is a glove to help astronauts work more comfortably in space.

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Karen Hofmann, chair of product design at Art Center College of Design.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

The core visual, technical, creative, analytical and presentation skills that we need to teach industrial design students are quite similar today to what they were a decade ago. The process of understanding people's needs, identifying opportunities for innovation, giving form to ideas and realizing solutions is the core of what we teach and do as designers. In the product design department at Art Center, we value strong foundational skills along with a human-centered approach with our curriculum grounded in professional practice. What have evolved over time are the tools (design research, digital visualization and rapid prototyping); the workflow (toggling between analog and digital at a faster pace); the application of design skills (multiple career paths); and the expansion of the discipline (roles and responsibilities).

A decade ago we were very focused on product innovation. The value of design at that time was producing novel concepts and beautiful artifacts as a result of a comprehensive design process. Design education at that time was very "tool-based," as designers were known purely as "makers" or "visualizers." Student portfolios needed to show expertise in drawing, ideation, form development and model-making (analog and digital) in order to get hired. Design research was also emerging as a necessary "tool" and a skillset that added value to the product innovation process. Our curriculum made a serious commitment to emphasize design research and enable students to learn how to be "translators" of human needs, insights and data into meaningful opportunities and concepts, along with being visualizers and makers.

Since then we have seen an expansion of critical skills that are now integrated into our curriculum along with the core making skills—generative research methodologies, envisioning future scenarios, material innovation and advanced manufacturing knowledge, life-cycle analysis and sustainable design principles, as well as social innovation and business practices. The value of design has expanded beyond making products to also designing the entire user experience, services and eco-systems. As business organizations continue to embrace design, the role of the designer expands as well. Designers are not only responsible for visualizing and making, they now are "facilitators" as the design process has become more participatory and collaborative inside of organizations as well as with the emergence of open innovation models. This kind of facilitation role requires leadership skills and an understanding of how to work in a team. More and more cross-disciplinary team projects have been integrated into our curriculum to respond to this need.

DSchoolFutures-ArtCenter-2.jpgKaren Hofmann (left) and a Samsung-powered tennis training system designed by James Cha, who graduated in August


Posted by core jr  |  11 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

DesignOD-byKyleOldfield.jpgPhoto by Kyle Oldfield

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, a comparison of ID degree options, some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers), insight into why it's never too late to get into ID, a handy list of resume do's and don'ts, and the ultimate list of pro tips. This is the "What if I'm not cut out to be a designer after all?" post.

As any good design student knows, late nights in the studio can get pretty weird, whether you're lost in a CAD-hole or getting secondhand fumes from the adhesive/paint/chemical of your choice, and between the actual deliverables and skills you simply have yet to master, the little things may well start to eat away at your mental health. There's no denying that school is tough, and it's safe to say that there comes a time in most students' lives where you completely second guess your future as a budding IDer. Thankfully, the discussion board support group is here to get you through the tough times. Take a deep breath and read on.

There are many variations on this theme, and sometimes it's just a classic case of a sophomore slump. In a recent thread, TSE2 just isn't feeling so hot lately: "...overall, I always feel for the amount of hours I put in working compared to everyone else is either about the same or more, and compared to other students, my work is always mediocre. [cue existential crisis—hey, we've all been there] ...Are some people just not as good as others at design?" Echoing this sentiment, forumite super-panda filed his complaint with a disclaimer, also seeking much-needed advice and motivation from the community (and proving that sometimes the slump gets worse before it gets better):

Approaching graduation, I could really not care less about design and I feel confused about what I'm graduating into. I feel I'm done with everything design-related. I feel uninspired and I've lost all confidence in my creativity. To be honest, I cannot think of someone less creative than me right now, and this has been going on for a few years. For one assignment, I wrote a whole essay about why I think the word "design" should be banned and how design has become so overly romanticized. I know this is not the whole truth, and I know there are a lot of designers out there who do genuinely good things and make peoples lives truly better, but I still feel design is too often perceived as something magnificently transcendentally awesome. And I am uncomfortable and fed up with that.

For students who get caught up and discouraged by comparing their work to that of their peers, keep in mind that the things that you draw or make—i.e. what you're graded on—represent only one frame of reference. "Just because you have the best 3/4-view hand render, doesn't mean you have the best understanding of the brief, subject matter, trend analysis or CMF ideas," says bepster. Meanwhile, moderator Yo sums up the longview in a few wise words: "It's better to be the worst kid in an awesome class than the best kid in a mediocre one. Go to the school you think will push you the most. That is what you are paying for."


Posted by core jr  |  10 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Jim Budd, chair of Georgia Tech's School of Industrial Design and coordinator of its Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction with a specialization in Industrial Design.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

The impact of digital technologies over the past ten years has radically reshaped society and has led to similar changes in the challenges and opportunities for industrial design education. The first changes we saw in industrial design education began with the use of more powerful digital tools to support traditional drawing and prototyping design activities—the advent of 3D modeling, rapid prototyping, laser cutting and integration of CNC tools for manufacturing. More recently, we have begun to see a much more significant impact of technology on everyday life. Wireless communication combined with the growing prevalence of sensor-based technologies are changing the way we live, work and play. This now provides opportunities for designers to play a more central role in our ability to integrate technology into everyday life in a more seamless and meaningful way.

As a result of these changes we are beginning to see industrial design grow and mature as a discipline, and I expect we will see more clarity in the range of options available in the field across the board for our future graduates.

What would you say to a prospective student who worries about the relevance of an ID education in an increasingly digital world?

Personally, I believe an ID education provides an excellent grounding for multiple career options. The skills and knowledge you acquire through a design education prepare you exceedingly well to deal with society's "wicked problems." A thorough understanding of design methods helps designers develop an uncanny ability to ask the difficult questions and probe for the root of problems that inevitably leads to better solutions. There is a universal demand for that kind of approach—particularly when it comes to dealing with the implications of digital technologies.

DSchoolFutures-GeorgiaTech-2.jpgJim Budd in the Interactive Product Design Lab. Top image: an interactive wearable with an accelerometer and a network of LEDs controlled by RFID sensors

DSchoolFutures-GeorgiaTech-1.jpgA interactive children's toy built around Lego Mindstorm parts, including a touch sensor, a microphone and a proximity sensor


Posted by core jr  |  10 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

PhotobyKyleWalters.jpgPhoto by Kyle Walters

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, a comparison of ID degree options, some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers), insight into why it's never too late to get into ID, advice on overcoming design OD, and the ultimate list of pro tips. This is our handy list of resume do's and don'ts.

This is it. You're ready to move forward, to level up, and above all to get paid. That means you've got to tell the world about yourself and what you can do. In addition to the most basic advice possible—no typos, follow application directions, tailor to your intended audience and position, and NO TYPOS—here are some golden nuggets on resume design from both applicants and hiring heads on the C77 boards.

Proper Content

Immediately relevant, useful, truthful information only! Inflating skills and including unrelated jobs is unhelpful. It's tempting to stick the kitchen sink in there to make the page less dauntingly empty, particularly if you're young and short on real world experience or trying to level up. But don't. Educational experience and student work count—if they're good they count a lot—so emphasize those relevant skills instead of your summertime ice-cream-peddling chops. And if you're fresh out of school, don't just note the technical abilities or high-minded conceptual thinking and big picture focus that programs hammer into you—consider how they translate into more concrete, widely applicable skills. Pitching how you work on the ground (or on a time crunch, or on budget...) is valuable at any skill level. Cheerygirl also stressed personality:

I place my career goal in brief with work experience on top of my education and accomplishments. I add in a brief line of other interests, especially in sports and other creative tasks that are worth mentioning, with references to all the information I put in... When you write your CV/resume, it shouldn't be just another CV but something that represents yourself as a person. In short, don't just write your CV, design it.

Keep It Simple

You don't want to get in your own way. As all designers ought to know, this can be easy to say and tricky to pull off, especially without external guidelines. Don't opt for a schlock Word form and formatting, that kind of simple sure isn't going to stand out in a stack (or folder, these days) of the same, and it'll more than likely bury your chances of being taken seriously as a designer. Do use your white space! Choose an excellent and appropriate typeface. Introduce color and graphics with care. Use clear terminology about what you've done without being repetitive, but don't bust out hoity-toity synonyms or unusual action words; GRE vocab and technical jargon generally hurt more than they help. Getting creative is great, but don't get in your own way—it has to look good and but the primary function is communication.


Posted by core jr  |   9 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-CCA-1.jpgD2D, a hybrid robot for land-mine detection and diffusion designed by Yeban Shin for his CCA senior thesis project

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Sandrine Lebas, chair of industrial design at California College of the Arts.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

We do teach industrial design very differently than we did ten years ago. Young industrial designers today have to be versatile, collaborative, empathic and forward thinking. We are no longer the midpoint between form and function, or the end-of-the-line "beautifying" process. Many other factors are shaping a product today: the business model, manufacturability, material sourcing and pricing, cultural fit, emotional connection... The complexity is much greater every day, and products cannot be created without industrial designers understanding the greater context.

So, beyond the typical industrial design skills that include sketching, form development and CAD representation, we teach our students to question in order to find answers. Being critical thinkers through research but also through prototyping and testing (surpassing failure being a key component of building confidence) allows our students to redefine archetypes or create new product categories, and ultimately bring industrial design as a partner to innovation.

Collaboration is another key soft skill not found in textbooks yet mandatory in today's workplace. As students grow into designers individually, forging their own design voices, they have to understand that their future role is as part of a team society of researchers, interaction designers, engineers, business leaders and marketers. Learning to communicate, find opportunities and understand feedback from those different partners and disciplines starts in college. Cross-disciplinarity—or, rather, co-disciplinarity—is one core component of CCA's design division and senior creative studios, pairing up students and faculty from various disciplines on a common project.

DSchoolFutures-CCA-2.jpgSandrine Lebas (left) and Synthesis, a redesigned prosthesis by Patrick Mulcahy

Air Kinetic knee brace by Leslie Greene and Sam Bertain


Posted by core jr  |   9 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

NeverTooLate-KyleOldfield.jpgPhoto by Kyle Oldfield

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, a comparison of ID degree options, some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers), a handy list of resume do's and don'ts, advice on overcoming design OD, and the ultimate list of pro tips. This is an argument for why it's never too late to get into ID.

Many of us missed the Industrial Design boat at first, only to fall for its charms after starting a different life path. Maybe you never heard of it at all until stumbling onto our fair website, maybe you made (and then got jealous of) friends in the ID department, or maybe your parents discouraged you from getting a "useless art degree," but now you're sure you missed your true calling at the Alessi drawing board. But don't kick yourself, you aren't alone—over on the C77 forums you can find many, many threads where the OP asks/worries whether it's TOO LATE FOREVER to enter the thrilling world of ID. The transition from no-ID to maybe-ID is fraught with glittering possibility and barbed with cost and social stigma. Are late starters out of luck? According to the wise design minds of the forums: nope! Before shrugging off that ID dream, consider these insights from the boards.

Am I too old?

Are you really excited about designing things? Then probably not. ID careers usually start after a few years of school and internships, but embarking on that path well after high school doesn't have to be a hurdle on its own. Unlike gymnastics, the young ones don't necessarily have the upper hand in the field: ID students are often a little older—according to apowers, "the average freshman age for Industrial Design is 24." Besides age itself, a belated start is a common occurrence even among people with real lives and kids and responsibilities. The crux is whether you really want it or not—if you do, there are ways to make it work.


Posted by core jr  |   8 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-Cranbrook-1.jpgObjects from the Innate Gestures workshop with guest designer Leon Ransmeier and 3D designer-in-residence Scott Klinker

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Scott Klinker, designer-in-residence and head of 3D Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

"Industrial" is now "post-industrial"—marking a shift from mass production in an industrial society toward mass creativity in a network society. Students must grasp this new model and make it work for them. The networked world is based on and features more communication, so the landscape of ideas and images is crowded. Old-school skills—like how to make things—are just as important as before, but how and why we place ideas into the culture has changed. Today it is important to design things with emotional resonance that go beyond the classic idea of "human-centered problem solving." On a business level today, designers can practice as "free agents," but this requires us to learn new entrepreneurial skills.

The network society has already launched a version of design culture that is more grassroots and bottom-up compared to the top-down corporate culture that gave birth to industrial design. Soon our design culture will look more like the emerging music industry, where designers will operate more like entrepreneurial musical artists building an audience online while "performing" in the local, physical world. While this presents a new set of challenges for the designer, it opens wide theoretical potentials for design authorship. Ten years from now, design will be more diverse with more interesting things to say, and will learn to speak more boldly to be heard in a noisy world. This change has already started.

What would you say to a prospective student who worries about the relevance of an ID education in an increasingly digital world?

A typical ID education teaches skills almost like a trade school. Students should be worried about programs like that. The skills are necessary but not sufficient. A designer needs ideas too, and a bit of poetry in his or her heart, to make something that achieves a human connection. And a designer needs a critical framework to drive the process. At Cranbrook we teach "3D Design" because we want to define design broadly. Thirty years ago, design was primarily about mass production. Now design has significant areas of overlap with fine art, craft, architecture and fashion. When design touches these other fields, it absorbs some of their dialogue and becomes more mature. A good design education should move students beyond skills toward cultural maturity, so they can see the nuanced connections between ideas and forms. Grad school is the ideal place to develop this cultural maturity because the professional world requires it but doesn't often nurture it.

DSchoolFutures-Cranbrook-2.jpgScott Klinker and his Trellis Bowl produced by Alessi. Photography by R.H. Hensleigh and Tim Thayer

DSchoolFutures-Cranbrook-4.jpgKlinker (left) with members of the 3D Design department


Posted by core jr  |   8 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

Photo by Kyle Oldfield

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, a comparison of ID degree options, insight into why it's never too late to get into ID, a handy list of resume do's and don'ts, advice on overcoming design OD, and the ultimate list of pro tips. Here are some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers).

Compared to textbook-heavy coursework in the sciences and humanities, ID is much more about hands-on experience than absorbing required reading or lectures (though the latter are a key element of higher education in general). That can put the educator in a tough place: How do you guide students in a creative field that depends largely on a practitioner's own motivation? If pedagogy has been debated and refined since the Pre-Socratic era, so too has this subject has been popping up in our discussions boards since day one. Meanwhile, our own Allan Chochinov helpfully distilled his thoughts on the subject in 2006, and while we look forward to an update from him in the D-School Futures series, the forum community has a few suggestions of their own.

Problem-Solving Over Technical Skills

By now, we all know that design can be defined as taking a problem and attempting to solve it. So it would make sense that keeping the problem-solving sentiment would be a no-brainer when it comes to an ID education. Wrong. When there are plenty of equally capable problem-solvers out there, technical proficiency becomes main criteria for the best solution. But discussions on the forums have brought up a yearning for the days when technical skills took the back seat. "The technical skills are merely a means of showing and communicating their ideas, without a good idea the rest is kind of pointless," says/ IDiot. "By getting a lot of practice thinking, problem solving and being exposed to how others might consider or approach a problem or situation, they will gain a deeper and better understanding of these things." Fellow forum discusser iab agreed on all of these points, with a slight amendment: "Students and even young designers should not worry if their ideas are good, or bad or any other adjective. That is not their job, not even close. They should be cranking many, many ideas and communicating those ideas through images/models/prototypes/etc."

On the other hand, focusing on conceptual problem-solving at the expense of practical matters may be equally problematic. Encouraging students to let their imaginations run wild one thing, but real-world considerations are paramount. Product tank shares his thoughts:

Everything we did was very blue sky. When I then got into consultancy, I had no idea how to take a set of real components, (a PCB with various height components, a battery, switch and LED etc) and put a package around them that could be tooled, with draft, where to put bosses, addressing sink issues, what spark on a tool was, how two parts could be fixed together, etc. At that point everything I thought I'd learned in university—that was supposed to equip me for the real world—went out of the window as I had no idea if my good ideas could actually be made.
We'd always had the freedom to create designs that looked as good as possible without really considering whether they'd work. While some elements of blue sky concepts really helped me, with hindsight I would want much more of a balance between that and the real world. I would advocate running a project where you get students to design a product and then at the end tell them that steel prices have gone up and they have to take 40 percent out of the design (!) or the battery specs have changed and the battery has to now be a larger rectangle or the client wants their logo in the middle. In university it was all about the portfolio, but we were never taught that no matter how good you feel your design is, or how finished it may be, it has to meet a price point with components from various suppliers and—even after final presentation—may need to be radically changed.


Posted by core jr  |   5 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

KyleOldfield-1.jpgPhoto by Kyle Oldfield

We'd like to start this post by saying thank you to everyone who submitted pictures to our call for photos of life in design school! You guys came up with some fantastic shots, from winsome candids to artfully composed campus scenes, and they definitely brought us back to our own student days. We enjoyed all of your images, but one recent grad went above and far beyond our modest expectations. There was no single winning image, but Kyle Oldfield stood out in terms of both the quality and the quantity of his submissions, nicely documenting his experience at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (UC DAAP) in an album's (or camera roll, perhaps) worth of snapshots.

Indeed, all of our winners wisely chose to submit multiple photos to depict student life at their university; second place goes to Valdemar Haugaard Olsen who portrayed the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in black-and-white photos, and Nick Althouse of Arizona State University is our third place winner. Congrats to Kyle, Valdemar and Nick, and thanks again to everyone who participated.

ValdemarHaugaardOlsen-1.jpgThe Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in Copenhagen. Photo by Valdemar Haugaard Olsen

NickAlthouse-2.jpgThe photographer's father's once-reliable electric drill lies in pieces alongside various materials and Easter eggs after a final presentation's deadline. Photo by Nick Althouse

Honorable Mentions: Dan Rucker and Jaineel Shah

DanRucker.jpgA shot of RIT's Vignelli Gallery—designed by the man himself. Photo by Dan Rucker

JaineelShah.jpgStudents sketching in a classroom at the DSK International School of Design in India. Photo by Jaineel Shah

Bonus photos - DAAP alum Patricio Silva sent in a few 'vintage' photos from his University of Cincinnati days circa 1996, check 'em out:


Posted by core jr  |   5 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-Pratt-1.jpgCowhide shoes by Pratt industrial design student Kate Tsyrlin. All student project photos courtesy Pratt Industrial Design

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Scott Lundberg, acting chair of industrial design at Pratt Institute.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

Industrial design education is no longer understood in craft-based paradigms, segregated and tracked by predetermined outcomes like automotive, furniture or tabletop. This is in part because change is a constant in our field.

An industrial design education at Pratt prepares students to be skillful at responding to and often instigating change. Since the issues that we consider will always be changing, design is understood and taught as a way to think and act with change. The goal of a Pratt design education is to prepare our students for the unknown opportunities they will face as they mature professionally.

One way we prepare for change is our leadership in teaching visual literacy, which is a valuable tool that will always be important to the profession. Our alumni have recognized this as one of their uniquely Pratt competitive advantages for decades. We will be expanding this emphasis in our teaching as the pace of technology, economy and cultural change increases.

Another way we prepare our students for unknown futures is by offering a variety of opportunities to apply and adapt their design talents. Doing this reinforces the message that design is the way we think about things and not a definition of the things we think about. Many of the opportunities have very familiar contexts like furniture or medical equipment, but just as many are fantastical. One of our professors insists that designers get out on thin ice with their ideas—that where it starts to get dangerous is where it gets interesting.

Technology is the most obvious place people go when thinking about educational shifts, and it is important. Every program worth considering acquires the latest technological tools, so it is a difficult competitive advantage to maintain. At Pratt, we help students understand how to design and think like a designer—whether it be mastering the latest technology, dance or the oldest craft.

DSchoolFutures-Pratt-2.jpgScott Lundberg. Photo by Peter Tannenbaum/Pratt Institute


Posted by Mason Currey  |   4 Sep 2014  |  Comments (3)

DSchoolFutures-RISD-1.jpgDrop the Beat, a wearable electronic drumset created by Wesley Chau at RISD last year

This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Soojung Ham, industrial design department head at the Rhode Island School of Design.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

For many decades, American corporations had been maintaining their business domains in mass markets by mastering their traditional business practices and manufacturing techniques. Their common interests and strategies were then to grow into global markets, increase efficiency, shorten a development cycle and offer a lower price than competitors. Over the years, many of them have moved their manufacturing facilities overseas to reduce their production costs, and later moved their design resources for further savings.

Meanwhile, over the past ten years, IT companies and startups have established new business models. They brought new design opportunities by researching emerging trends and unmet needs; developing new market segmentation to build their business channels; and introducing user-experience areas in the technological convergence between products and services. At the same time, digital applications like Arduino and 3D printing became more accessible to public users, and brought exciting opportunities to explore R&D processes through the open-source and DIY movement.

Many art schools and engineering schools responded quickly to the industry and offered design programs in UX, entrepreneurship, management and computing programs in their curricula. Ten years from now, I think many programs will be further iterated and even more integrated with other disciplines. In addition, some schools will continue to practice sustainability for ethical design strategies and collaborate with other entities (corporate/government) to create local manufacturing.

DSchoolFutures-RISD-2.jpgSoojung Ham (left) and ID students giving an interactive presentation

DSchoolFutures-RISD-3.jpgBentwood lighting by recent RISD graduate Connie Shim


Posted by Kat Bauman  |   4 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

WhichDegree-PhotobyAnnaMolosky.jpgPhoto by Anna Molosky

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers), insight into why it's never too late to get into ID, a handy list of resume do's and don'ts, advice on overcoming design OD, and the ultimate list of pro tips. This is a survey of ID degree options.

For students interested in pursuing Industrial Design, there are several educational paths available but few obvious differences between them. BA, BS, BFA, BID... what do they mean, what kind of education will they get you, and what do employers want to see? We turned to the C77 Education forum, possibly the largest collection of ID-degree holding weirdos on the internet, for the real scoop. The upshot? It really truly varies by program, so do your research and pay some visits. But here are some themes we saw across the boards.

BS vs BA vs BFA?

It's not unusual to end up at this crossroads when charting a path to study industrial design at the undergraduate level. Some schools with ID concentrations offer one and not another, but which is better? Every program is different in its specific faculty, courses offered, facilities, resources, academic tone, demographics, etc., but broadly speaking it really is as simple as Science vs. Liberal Arts vs. Fine Arts. In the experience of many commenters, a program offering a BS will be geared more towards mechanics and engineering; a BA will lean towards creative thinking and appreciation of form; and a BFA will emphasize art skills and critiques. If the program's ID focus is any good, some overlap is inevitable, since you need a solid foundation in both technical thinking and creative problem-solving. As with any other type of school choice, it's up to you to decide based on your interests and good intel on specific schools and programs. But beyond the subjective learning experience, most commenters are skeptical about the difference the degrees makes after graduation.

Tarnergine was one of many who think it's irrelevant: "The Bxx honestly doesn't matter. As long as you have a degree + good portfolio you'll be fine. Look at what the curriculum will teach, instead, and how well you will fit into the school/their philosophy."

Greenman agreed that your output matters more than the specific degree title, suggesting a simple litmus test: "...pick a school, then go on to look for portfolios of students from that school. This will help you get a more detailed picture of that schools' program and level of student quality, which is also extremely important. It is not always your instructors that you learn the most from."

From outside of the United States, The_Boogey_Man respectfully disagrees: "I'm not sure if it's any difference Stateside, but I say it does matter, in fact it's quite important...I've found BA's can be very different to BsC's, with BA's offering a more holistic, creative thinking approach and BsC's focusing more on the engineering and manufacturing side of things."


Posted by core jr  |   3 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


This is the latest installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from Owen Foster, chair of the industrial design program at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

There are two trains of thoughts here: the foundation and the progression.

Design education, as a whole, is rooted in certain fundamental practices that are needed to create the next great designers. The foundational skills of observation and application have been taught throughout the history of design and will continue to be what anchors future generations of designers. Without this core, future designers won't have the platform to jump off of to reach greater heights.

With that being said, the progression of design education is in constant change. We have moved from creating the necessary to producing beautiful artifacts and now to creating amazing user-focused experiences. The tools continue to evolve due to advances in technology, manufacturing, materials and the increased awareness of design by the masses. A designer must now be able to speak and understand multiple conversations beyond just art and engineering, including service, interaction and user experience. The goal for the future is to make sure we do not get caught up in what's new and shiny. Instead, we need to stay grounded in the foundational principles of design with the application of the tools around us.

DSchoolFutures-SCAD-2.jpgOwen Foster

What would you say to a prospective student who worries about the relevance of an ID education in an increasingly digital world?

I'm not so sure prospective students worry about the digital world. We need to understand that the student of today embraces the digital world as another tool for design. Being what we call "digital natives," they are very aware that design is constantly changing and the need for technology is even more valuable today. Students understand the value of being a hybrid designer and understanding all the different conversations within design—industrial, interaction and service.

The example that I give is the iPhone. Why we see the iPhone as being a complete design is not just the touch screen, the hardware or new manufacturing processes. It's also the design approach as a whole. The artifact, the phone itself, is what people label industrial design: a tangible product that is mass-produced using new materials and cutting-edge production practices.

The icons are labeled interaction design and trigger an internal drive to attain information. To compare it to a simple process, it is similar to how a door functions. A user will open a door by the means of the doorknob to attain the information on the other side of the door, much like a user will access information through an iPhone.

Lastly, what makes the iPhone so unique is the service design of iTunes. This allows users to be part of a larger family that's linked to more applications and products. If you take away the service, you're left with just a smartphone. Remove the icons and interface and you're left with a beautiful paperweight. If you remove the artifact, you're not allowed to connect to any of the digital functions.