(From the Introduction)
Without a doubt the modern design shop is one made up of numerous working professionals graced with an array of varied abilities who work in tandem to meet a common goal. The vast majority of designs succeeding in today’s market trace their origins to a wide and diverse group of collaborators. The modern animation, for example, not only requires story editors, traditional animators, and sound designers, but also specialists in character design, lighting, and even “skinners,” those animators who specialize in textural elements for the animation’s various characters and surfaces. While animations are certainly conceived of and produced by single individuals, the process is far too involved for a single individual to create a series of animations with the timeliness and consistency demanded by the marketplace. Collaboration is the market paradigm.
The education of designers, however, is often focused on individual production: The undergraduate student creating a product design for presentation and critique; the graduate student investing a year of his/her life to the research, development, and presentation of a single piece of media. While this pedagogy is very effective in helping develop design skills in the student, it does not prepare the average student for the market’s paradigm of collaboration. I have devoted the past several years to considering this issue and developing a means to introduce a stronger system for developing collaborative skills in my students.
I often say that no matter what discipline a student studies in the traditional college curriculum, the primary skills they learn will be time management and communication. These are unbelievably important to whatever profession the student chooses to pursue. But more and more often it is equally important that a basic skill in the work place is the ability to work with a diverse team of individuals toward a common goal, and so I now consider collaboration the third most important skill that a college student can take away from their education. It is a matter of great importance that we begin to modify our pedagogy to reflect this. This paper is an outline of my thinking and of my approach.
|Keywords:||Collaborative Design Process, Golas, Roals, and Accountability, Professional Design Practice|
Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Digital Programs, Digital Programs, Visual & Performing Arts, Humanities, Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, Bronx, New York, USA
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