“Graphic Design Education as a Liberal Art” – Brief Notes

19 Jan
  • There’s a growing recognition that a wide-ranging education is needed for a synthetic and integrative field such as design to progress
  • Synthetic – design does not have a subject matter of its own – it exists in only in relation to the requirements of given projects
  • Design is integrative in that, by its lack of specific subject matter, it has the potential to connect many disciplines
  • Most four-year graphic design programs try to teach something beyond “entry-level skills” but preparing students for their first job is often seen as practical education
  • There is only one thing, however, that we really know with precision about the future, it will be different from today. Therefore, the best thing we can do for design students is to make them adaptable
  • Design should be about meaning and how meaning can be created
  • Design should be about the relationship of form and communication
  • It is one of the fields where science and literature meet
  • Art and education can both benefit through the perspective of field that is about expression and the mass dissemination of information
  • Designers, design educators, and design students are in a more important and interesting field than we seem to  recognize
  • The concerns of design will not be directly addressed by academia until it becomes an academic subject.
  • Although there is a place for the history of design in and of itself, it would be absurd to suggest that any field abandon itself wholly to the contemplation of its own past
  • Design in any full sense will, of course, involve methodology and the creation of designed objects
  • Buchanan has suggested rhetoric as the closest available model for design
  • Rhetoric, as a field of study, is both the practice of verbal persuasion and the formal study of persuasive verbal communication
  • Design may be seen as the visual counterpart to rhetoric
  • Graphic design, more than other design areas, is usually directly about persuasion – intellectual, logical, aesthetic, and emotional
  • Can studying design be of general, not just professional interest? Can the study of design inform other areas of study?
  • We need to consider whether an anthropology student would benefit from the study of graphic design
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