Over the past few days I came across some rather good advice which I thought I’d share. I think it particularly pertains to younger designers but there are kernels of wisdom for creatives of any age or expertise.
The first is a piece titled The New Design which is written by Naz Hamid, who is the principal and designer behind design studio Weightshift. His article does a nice job of articulating how schools aren’t teaching young creatives what they really need to know and what designers themselves, schools, and the design industry can do to help change that.
It’s no surprise the web industry will innovate and fill in the gaps where the schools fell short. If we as industry professionals have learned anything, it’s that the web is one of the few places left where invention is still alive and innovation happens daily. The rise of self-created conferences, workshops and gatherings, held by those who actually practice in the field and are captains of the industry, are perhaps better than what schools can and are able to do now. […]
It’s like they’re set up for failure in a world where The New Design is now ruling.
We do a lot of interactive work here, of course. It’s integral to the studio, so the portfolios young designers send in should reflect as such. Understandably, in some cases these are just form emails. And certainly, some have identified with a selection of the work we do, but perhaps they haven’t fully recognized that a more likely match will come from having a body of work aligning with our own.
It’s not just their fault or ours. Here’s what we both may be able to do.
The second is a piece by Eric Hu, formerly of OKFocus, who shares some random (but quite on the nose) thoughts about internships and their role in the design industry. Internships are such a bizarre grey area these days and I really enjoyed how Eric was able to articulate the many aspects.
If we must accept the notion that internship is an inherent part of a design practice then we can only conclude that the main benefactor should the student and not the studio. This thought should be the driving force behind each decision from the studio. Who is really benefitting from asking the intern to stay late tonight to finish a job?