Final year undergraduate student Danny Nasr is raising funds for his project “Migrants of Circumstance”, which seeks to aid Syrian refugees currently based in Lebanon. Refugees face many problems, including discrimination and lack of adequate healthcare and education. It is the latter that Danny’s idea aims to address, by developing an informal, community-based educational framework. You can donate to the project until May 31st.
Ilyanna Kerr and Simon Jeal have put together a lovely blog documenting their Methods and Processes workshop with First year BA Design students. Loads of lovely explorations of words and images.
I have recently become a Graduate Learning Facilitator in the Design Department. As I make the overlap from a learner to a teacher, I realise that I am not just a graduate in ‘Design’, but a graduate in ‘Uncertainty’.
Initially this course makes you doubt yourself, to avoid designing by mirroring the self. You must forget what everyone told you design is, in order to start defining what you think design should be. Your first year isn’t only about emancipation, independence and taking responsibility; as uncomfortable as it it, this first year is about re-shaping your perspective.
The course then makes you doubt your surroundings. At this point you question what your role is in the socio-cultural complexity of the world (yes, the world). By then you would have gotten used to the uncertainty. You live through your questioning mindset. That is the strategy: no stability. You are in a constant state of uncertainty, and you learn to understand and accept it.
After this process, there is no ‘default designer’ expected of you. The expectations are that you perform beyond your potential. Rather than climbing the tiers of academia, your eyes open to the fact that the toolkit and ability of your BA needn’t be lesser than those of a more specialised qualification. The borders melt away between graphics, interaction, product, architecture, fashion… Instead, you learn to analyse and attack any situation, because you no longer have a default safe zone. You learn to adapt. “Be water, my friend.”
Graduates worry that they have no discipline to fit vacancy requirements. It doesn’t matter how many Adobe applications you master because you are proficient in uncertainty. Your skills are your strength against a frightening brief; your infatigable fight to reveal the un-seen; your bravery to question what is taken for granted. You aren’t against the design industry, you are what the design industry should be wishing for.
The garments for introverts made by Lilian Hipolyte Mushi (BA Design 2013) have proven quite eye catching at this year’s Undergraduate Show “This is War”, where I’ve seen many people taking photos of her Proxemics Protector- a dress that sprouts wooden wings if you get too close to it. Since then, her work has been popping up on design blogs. Here’s what Lilian had to say about introversion and her project.
Continue reading “Raising awareness on introversion, one garment at a time”