Business skills on design courses – isn’t that a little bit the wrong way round?

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Non-Designers Taught Design: “

I found out my friend studying chemistry, computer science, and physics is ‘taught’ to design websites and letterheads…

Fortunately she says she still doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing with anything design-related, so there’s still jobs for us out there. But seriously, computer science students should not be tested on their design skills. That’s just mean.

(Via the Graphic Student.)

A good point, and not an uncommon problem.

And yet some think design courses should be “offering key business training and long-term work experience … business models, financial forecasting, marketing or employing staff. Witnessing a business in action, becoming familiar with key IT systems or even sitting in on the interview process”.

It makes me wonder if it doesn’t make more sense to increase design awareness in other types of courses rather than try to dilute design courses? The example cited above is right – why should students in other subjects be assessed on their design ability? But equally, why don’t more subjects include design awareness (note, not design ability)?

Should a jewellery student really be taught how to interview staff? Or should a student hoping to work in HR be taught how to deal with people in the creative industries?
Should a graphics student be taught how to do their own accounts? Or should accountancy students be taught how to work with designers?
Should a product design student be taught how to apply for patents? Or should law students be taught about the design process?

Business skills on design courses or design awareness on business courses? At the moment I think the ‘skills debate’ is focussing too much on the former and not enough on the latter.

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