Yes, the evening after new years eve. I dont know why I'm not in bed either. But I've had some things on my mind. Some things that started with the last meeting of 2011 with Tom Page.
A mate of mine, who went to my old school and is now studying at Loughborough design school is also really good at making apps for iPhone. Out of bordom during his gap year, he taught himself how to code in Objective C from scratch using only Youtube videos and online tutorials, and now is selling some apps on the Apple app store. Apparently he is even getting some sort of monetary return from it too.
What occurred to me was this: That hobby of his is very design centered, from the interface layout to the styling, and apps are being used in more and more products everyday, but nothing on the product or industrial design courses comes close to utilising the potential of that skill.
Sure we have lectures on coding and on interface design, but this guy is so beyond what they teach its stupid for him to go on them.
And this is just one guy, I know of loads of other people who have taken a product design course, and they are really good at something design related but at something that is either not taught at the school, or is taught but at a depth shallower than their skill. Designing has no set rules of what you need to know, so why are modules set up in this way? Sure, there are ‘optionals’, but they still are too restricting with not enough options.
So this is what I propose: One optional module that looks for people
with curricular/un-curricular but advanced knowledge in a skill that’s
applicable to a design process. You will end up with a group of most likely differing skill sets, so team them up and get them to design something. If you provide the resources for them to do it, just watch and be amazed at what they do. You will end up with a well designed product all round, and a well made prototype, most likely demonstrating all of its features.
It will exercise their own skills, increase the ability to work in a team, and will drive the quality of output of the university up. Initially this increase in quality will come only from this module, but I feel that they will set a standard that the final year projects may likely follow.
And this brings me to how this realtes more to my studies.
Its not a lack of ideas that slows innovation,
it’s a lack of skills needed to get those ideas out. But there is not enough time to teach everyone how to do
everything. People who can do it should be encouraged to, people who can’t
should be shown ways to get a similar outcome with easier methods.