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Biting off too much?

Posted on July 18, 2013

Matt Leach attempts to tackle the future of design education in a single day.

Shaping the future of design education: on your marks, get set, go.
In hindsight we should probably have had a week’s discussion, not the hour we’d planned. On top of that the panel had a decidedly masculine weighting, amplified by the number of beards. This was a point the audience noticed right away and made comment on. Things were tense.
In truth, this is what we’d always planned. It’s a tense subject, and one people prefer to skim around rather than tackle head on. The very premise of ‘shaping the future’ suggests there is something wrong with today’s version.
This can seem a bit like a slap in the face for design educators who are constantly struggling with the tightrope of industry relevance and ever-increasing government regulations. I’ve been in the business for over ten years and the current environment is by far the most inhibitive, especially when it comes to introducing innovation into curriculums. The fact 200 design educators turned up shows the battle is not lost.

Matt Leach is National Head of Design and Director of The Rocks campus at CATC Design School.


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