The wrong end of the stick: what the graphic design industry really needs from design education

Johnathan Baldwin

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper presented an overview of current debates surrounding design policy in the UK, in particular design education. Examining various documents coming from organisations such as The Design Council and Creative and Cultural Skills, it was suggested that there was a contradiction in what design employers said courses should be teaching and what they actually looked for in employees - in particular the focus on practical skills was shown not to be the measure of what a graduate could bring to the industry, where intellectual and other 'broad' skills were deemed to be necessary in the near and long-term future. The paper then moved on to look at specific policy proposals from CCSkills, such as the greater involvement of practitioners in education, the use of 'live briefs' and work placements. Using existing research literature and published interviews with a range of students and employers, the paper demonstrated that there was little pedagogical evidence to suggest that these policies would improve education and, indeed, a lot to suggest that the reverse might be true as courses dominated by part-time or visiting staff score low on student support and measures of teaching and learning. The paper was delivered before the publication of the joint Design Council/CCSkills report on future skills needs and was well received by academics from around the world, especially in the USA where the AIGA is undertaking a similar exercise in predicting skills needs and uncovering similar contradictions in what courses are being asked to deliver (technical skills) and what the industry is lacking (intellectual skills). Since the paper was presented Baldwin have been invited to be a panel member in a debate on industry/academia links, organised by Eye magazine (London College of Communication, 22 January 2008) Evidence: Copy of the paper and Conference documentation
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventG07: The International Conference on Design Principles and Practices - London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 4 Jan 20077 Jan 2007


    ConferenceG07: The International Conference on Design Principles and Practices
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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