Looking to the Future
Since first exploring the importance of considering multiple perspectives in design education in my graduate thesis, my current writing continues to expand on the increasing capacity of education and the difficulties students and faculty will face in the future. My research suggests that if we limit students to the study of design principles alone and not consider other liberal art courses, then the academic institution is failing to prepare those students for the design industry. Presently, I am looking to expand on these principles to determine the affects of regional isolation on the designer and his or her education.
What Is a Designer?
Place a designer in a room of people who know very little about design and you will find yourself in a room filled with graphic designers. With the proliferation of the personal computer and the availability of the Adobe Creative Suite and other desktop publishing software, everyone believes they are a graphic designer. However, remove the word “graphic” from the title and you become a specialized individual who focuses on multiple tasks and works to deliver smart and precise solutions. For design is much more about the process than it is about the actual artifact that is produced. In percentages the artifact accounts for, at most, five percent of the creative process. A designer must approach each design as a creative challenge and work his or her way through the task. It is designer’s responsibility to be an expert in every field; we take on the role of investigator, asking questions and researching until we have found all the necessary answers. We must be an anthropologist, understanding the sensitivities of different people and cultures. A designer is much more than an individual who creates logos and brochures; we are active participants and interpreters of life.
Designer Turned Educator
While my mother nurtured my artistic talents and provided me with the inspiration, motivation and tools to become a successful designer, I owe my interest in education to my father. An early advocate of the use of technology in local educational systems, his belief of the importance of education and how it functions has offered great influence and insight. The belief that a single individual, put in the right situation, can influence change quickly developed into a passion, which was further nurtured in graduate school as I developed a new understanding of design. With the culmination of my formal education I was faced with a choice to continue my professional career or accept the challenge of passing on what I had learned to a new generation of design students. The decision was easy; I wanted to promote change in design education and better prepare students to enter into the field of design.
In January of 2011, I moved to Houston, Texas where I taught and advised graphic design students at the Art Institute of Houston. Two years later, in January of 2013, I was offered the position of Assistant Professor in Graphic Design at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi where I work to promote change in design education and inspire those students who will enter into the field of design.