A rant about my vision on design and identities, and how this all gets stuffed in a blender called Industrial Design

My coach told me that it would not be such a bad idea to post this story. Enjoy your meal, blended bullshit!

What is my identity as a designer? A question that is forced upon every student at the department of Industrial Design. In my first year I had no idea about what my identity was, I hardly had an idea about what an identity consists of. During this first year I tried to identify myself as a very straightforward rational designer, someone who does not really like form and senses. But that was something that not everyone would agree with, so I had to put in that I wanted to look in to form and senses.But is this really what I want? Form and senses is for me a very vague competency area, but I know I am not really good at it. One ‘teacher’ here once jokingly asked after making a comment that I thought was relevant to the discussion we were having “Are you sure you do not want to be a lawyer?”. Even if it only was a joke, and I as a man of jokes, know that there always is a truth hidden in every joke. Do I really want to be a designer? Before I can answer that question I have to find out what a designer is. Is it that gayish* guy that waves and dances to make his point about user experience? If that is a designer, hell no. I do not want to be like that. If the title designer would ever end up on my business card, which is very doubtable, I hope I would be something else. But what? I am quite sure that I won’t be a designer in the end, but therefore I think that someone who studies TBK does not have to end up as a businessman. What I want to do during my bachelor, is finding out what I like about design. I do not really care what kind of job I get, maybe I do not even get to design anything in the end. This study is very broad, you can end up at the Dreamworks special effects job or start your own company designing food that will blink because there are LED’s inside it. I hope during the Dutch Design Week assignment I gave myself I will be able to distinguish design in two categories: the ones I like and the ones I do not like. I think that if I have a whole pile of images, I can find out what aspects of designs speak to me.

During my Bachelor I will design several products. I can admire how some young designers like Andrew Kim (http://designfabulous.blogspot.com/) already developed their own identity, but I do not want to try to copy that. That will be a forced way to fit in within the accepted way of designers. I always want to act on my own, but I will be influenced by my environment.

What I find quite disturbing for an academic education is the contradiction happens a lot. In quite a lot lectures about non-scientific related subjects, the lecturer displays his way of doing something as the best. According to this one ‘teacher’ (yes, he is becoming the enemy in this rant) you can’t design something without creating a mood board. Even if you do not see the use of a mood board, you have to create a mood board. I think that this is just an approach out of 1000 approaches you can use to get somewhere. Almost every designer wants to be unique. Me as well. But I do not want to go with the arty farty design flow of designers that most of the people from the Design Academy fit in together with the form and senses types.

The conclusion is, that most of the people at ID, including me, wants to be different. And everyone wants to create his own identity for that. And everyone finds something important to be different on. Some people do it by buying ridiculous clothes. Some want to most exclusive or (well these go hand in hand) expensive gadgets. I want to have my own opinion, something that explains this quite long story above. Design is a form of art that has it good and bad sides, but getting a job in design is easier.

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