By the looks of it, this blog is turning into something of a design education blog more than anything else -- according to plan! Though, in reality, all the things written here are pretty much my own subjective opinion on certain matters. Nevertheless, the things that are said here holds a certain amount of credibility (well, as personal experiences go). And with any blogs found on the web, allowing the readers to digest whatever is written here to cultivate their own thoughts is probably the best thing that could happen. I guess in a way, not many people discuss amateur, soft-boiled thoughts on design thinking, coaching as teaching, and general design in an open, public forum such as this (even though there's no one here right now). My hope, even with this shoddy blog site tacked onto my portfolio, is that the readership will increase, even if they choose to lurk rather than openly discussing. Also, as a process to find my identity as a designer. For one, I know that I'm pretty much a late-bloomer in design, I can't seem to converge to one thing, and choose to diverge when most designers are choosing to specialize in a single design theme. Although on a personal level, I feel like I'm growing as a designer, professionally, it's turning into a big obstacle.
I'm going towards a conceptual design model when people are unwilling to hire that type of designers. On top of that, I'm pretty sure I'm not at the top echelon of designers. Sure, I have certain aptitude for design, I don't really consider it the make-or-break in terms of finding employment. It seems like there's a fundamental thing I'm missing that my other contemporaries seems to understand or take for granted. It's really bugging me.
Especially the last half of the answer, rings real true to lots of creatives. Of course, it's hard, and people don't seem to have a complete clue on how to make it in the world, but the idea of networking through internship and building a portfolio through personal projects with the intention of networking is a great way to have a foot in the door. Of course, I wasn't taught any of this until the 4th year of my undergraduate studies, and it's way too late.
Networking and introduction of what the program has to offer -- during school and after -- should be paramount. It should be shown early in the studies, say, 1st or 2nd year, and the students encouraged to break the mould. I try to get the students I TA is do personal projects to fill up the gaps in skills for their portfolio. I encourage them to build a portfolio and find internships for the summer. To push them beyond what they know and try out new techniques and skills. I want to show them that there's more to design than they know, and cease the opportunity rather than squander them.
But of course, I'm still learning how much influence I should play in their education. I feel like I'm overreaching my roles, which may hinder their progress to become an individual designer. I wonder how much I should contribute to their design, and how much to help a struggling student. Even if their designs are half-baked, if they did it with their full power, I can't say that the design process is bad. But then, how do I make it so that the design isn't inherently bad?