The Future of Design Education
Rapid changes in technology and modes of work behaviour have transformed a designer’s role at work; simply this has contributed to a skills gap for designers. Therefore, it becomes essential to think of solutions in which educational tools could embrace a hybrid culture within learning, to prepare a pool of designers that can capture business opportunities, especially with the emergence of artificial intelligence.
Firstly, it is important to note that a designer is not specifically an individual that designs products or services. The designer could be defined as a person that is able to direct companies through great technical abilities, and has soft skills that enable him\her to interact more effectively with others.
There are a few anticipations that could be the next big thing in the future of designing education. Such examples could be borrowed from an existing education system, the Experience Institute by Victor Saad. The institute is a one-year higher education program that is based on real world experiences, where participants have to complete at least seventy hours of learning from real practical projects; with minimal mentoring from a couple of experienced students. Learners are encouraged to gain more self-confidence and motivation from collaborating with top industry leaders in areas like business, social change and design. By utilising different skills through approaching day-to-day scenarios, students are able to become self-directed to lead projects in different sectors. To add, engaging in a mobile knowledge-program assists in making participants more empathetic towards designing solutions. Better solutions appear by becoming more familiarised with cultural and social contexts of problems, which could develop human-centered thinking.
The future of educational systems could essentially evolve towards making the classroom a maker space; a combination of guidance, self-direction, collaboration and experimentation to mimic co-working spaces in organisations. Tests could become based on practical skills rather than perceived judgments of the sort of thinking methods and theories a student might apply to problems. The process of taking a test may transform into an assessed user- journey, where a student is marked based on an iterative process of steps and challenges undertaken to complete a project. Tutors could then evaluate the student’s design process and suggest points of weaknesses and opportunities for growth.
To conclude, project based education is a major issue to forecast for the future. It is the complimentary solution to artificial intelligence, where designers will still be needed to interpret data, engage in multidisciplinary exercises, restore empathy and benefit from the pace of technology to speed up experimentation processes. At last, the best way to challenge change is to embrace it.