The system

Right now I’m a B2.1 student. Yes I consider myself quite happy that I managed to get 60 points in 1 year. Do I consider myself lucky? Well from the percentages I should, but I think it is all thanks to me (yes I’m listing myself first, I eventually have the biggest influence on myself?) and my environment (including family and friends). So far everything, with a little dip two weeks ago, is going splendidly. But what if I keep up this pace? This blogpost is about what I think about my own future, studywise  and inevitably I will bash the educational model of Industrial Design.

If I continue with this pace, considering myself a genius (yesh, irony) that will not fall and rush to the finish line, I will have my bachelor in roughly 1.5 year. That would mean that I’m already halfway. This utopian way of thinking flew through my head some days ago. To be realistic, I think that I must have at least a half-year of study delay to make it seem like I did not fake my whole study here.
If I finish my bachelor I probably will be something like depth or any other vague word chosen by the guys of the Department of Industrial to indicate my development. They say they have 10 competency areas to cover an overall even growth. I personally believe that the focus of this education so far lies on three purposes: User Focus and Perspective, Integrating Technology and Ideas and Concepts. That mainly is because of the general design process with the x (can’t remember the correct number) stages. The stages as I vaguely recall from an assignment:

  1. Thinking of a solution to solve a problem (Ideating + Research)
  2. Creating this solution (Conceptuizing/prototyping)
  3. Testing (Testing the product on errors or testing how the user reacts on it)
  4. Analyzing (Find out what went wrong)
  5. Go to step one to fix the problem.

And so on. Every design process should have this (or a derived form of it). Then the project and coaches define what the other focuses are. I once had a coach that focused on the design process. It was my first coach, and we didn’t know anything about that, so that was a note that I got for my second semester to work on. My second coach was somehow focused on the ideating part, as the number of ideas we worked with in the beginning was very low and we may not have covered all possibilities. I’m not going to say what I think the focus of my current coach is because he might be reading this. (just kidding, I just do not know it yet). If you would have a designer that thinks form and senses is important, you will probably have to pay a lot of attention to that during your project. This also works for assessment. As I stated in my previous blogpost that everyone is teaching you their perception of the best method they can teach you, this is the effect of their focus. I did not pay that much attention to form and senses in my first year .(apart from the hell called the IDentity assignment, which is enough material for the another blogpost. Positive and negative)
Did someone tell me that? I even got “to some extent” in my last 2 projects. (for the non ID readers it means you did something but not really… I’ll get back at the grading system later).

What I am trying to say here is that the way you can get improvement in the bureaucratic system of the education industrial design is a matter of two things. First you need that tiny bit of luck that your assessor does not see what you lack, for me maybe form and senses. And the second is speech. I.e. Talking. You need to be a good speaker, a persuasive speaker and you need to be able to cover up for your misses on the spot. I myself think that I can do this quite well. Is this a secret unveiled? I think not. Am I the first one to admit it and say it? Probably. To make a more specific statement: I think that the grading system of this education is not scientifically funded and therefore more subjective than conventional grading systems.
Why? That will be my next blog post, because this one gets a little long.

Thanks for reading,

Jeroen Coelen

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2 responses to “The system

  1. You are so not the first one to conclude this. (or admit and say as you put it) I’ve been saying this® since the start of 2009. Other than that you’re on spot, I would say you and I don’t differ that much in our view on design. Perhaps that’s why we have this group interaction, after all, great minds think alike! 😉

  2. I wanted to trigger people, the thing I wanted to know if more people have their doubts about this educational system. Turns out yes 😛

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