Design Observer: writings about design & culture: Annals of Academia, Part II: Graphic Design and The New Optimism

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

An interesting article, and lots of interesting discussion over at Design Observer. I’ve got some thoughts on this but I need to get on with some essay marking – spookily, given the content of the article, including some very interesting takes on Roland Barthes, and 35 first year essays that specifically challenge them to link theory with practice… More on that later. In the meantime, read Jessica Helfland’s interesting article, and the discussion it provoked, of which this is just a taste:

“In general, we introduce theory in the classroom not because of the product it generates so much as the process it informs; but in the absence of an original idea, students often see theory as a validating conceptual armature, a crutch. This is where our educational system fails us: for as long as the connection bewteen theory and practice remains thwarted by poor pedagogical direction, we cannot expect our students to know the difference.”

Incidentally, it’s interesting to see that the same old faces (in the nicest possible way) keep cropping up in these conversations. It feels like I’m on the bus I mentioned earlier!

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