What is Designed?

Thanks for visiting! A few of you heard about this idea several months ago and asked periodically if I was ever going to get it off the ground. Well, here it is. I have left it just as you see it, a bare shell, in hopes that we can build it up collectively. This forum is not called ‘design ed,’ although that is what it is about. It is called ‘designed’ in hopes that is what it becomes. The site begins with a need to discuss and develop new ways of approaching and teaching the ever-growing base of consideration required of graphic designers.

There is very little comment about how one weaves together print and new media while maintaining a healthy foundation in history, refined generative processes, technical skills, and some ethos. New media? Globalization? Specialist/generalist? What can be expected of a 4-year professional degree in a field that has gone considerably beyond its founding? If it remains a 4-year degree, how does this change the national/global sense of graduate or doctoral studies or the expectations of undergrads when many are hired for their range of technical expertise and not for a well developed strategic mind set?

Nobody wants to talk about teaching software—egad. It has been 20 years since the Mac debuted. How has academia considered a designer’s relationship to the screen and its impact on process? Only in the past year or two have we seen computers catch up with our demands and exceed them. Media experimentation has turned to application and what was alien is now every-day. A synthesis of performing arts and design language is old news—now, how do we use it?

This forum was started with the idea that new teaching faculty in graphic design would benefit from sharing their experiences, research endeavors, and thoughts about these issues and many others in both design practice and education. Over the next few months I hope to find a few of you that would be willing to write a short piece and share it here for further discussion. There are plans for a resource section with bibliographies and links, as well as a calendar of events, but first I'd like to hear from you. What are you thinking?

posted by Tony Brock on March 11, 2004 | comments: 4 | post a comment

Thanks to Stacie and Anthony for getting things started and Scott for posting. I encourage everyone to share this site with friends and colleagues that are either new to teaching or seasoned vets. All are encouraged to take part.

I welcome your writings and hope that you will continue to check in periodically as things pick up. I have been host to the flu and a nice bit of bronchitis so the launch has been a little slow. I will be posting some resources (links, bibliographies, etc.) and some thoughts on gaming and Dawn of the Dead (yep, the zombie flick) soon!

If you would like to be a regular contributer, you can have admin access for posting and maintenance or I will be glad to cover it. Info of a house-keeping sort will be posted here for now. More to come. : )

Posted by Tony on April 2, 2004 06:54 AM

It's a shame this site has been dead for so long. Good start, no stamina?

Posted by Cindy on July 22, 2004 01:11 AM

Get involved. All are welcome. What is on your mind?

Posted by tony on July 22, 2004 02:55 AM

Hi everyone-


I do not want to wax on the good old days of graphic design. My era (the cranbrook late 80's/early 90's) had some interesting discourse. In one of my articles I said something about how GD was dealing (at the time-late 90's) with it's historical identity coming apart- as in there is no guaranteed future unless we look more broadly.

That has come to pass. There are so many professional and academic cliques out there that it makes the brain swell. As one who crosses those cliques, this is not an 'academic' thing for me. No one knows where to go next. Maybe, therefore, each of us could look at our specific milieu and deal with that, and also work on the idea of communicating it.

I've been reading up as usual on the history of science. If you do not like what 'Design Issues' publishes, then go create your own journal with peer review or whatever- (if you are an academic). The key may be to decide the issue in general you think needs to be addressed. Forget the label or the moniker- "graphic design". "Graphic Design" as a term feels to me much like "Society of Typographic Artists".

Please note this is not a ding on STA and typographers. It just signals that the flow of discourse has hit an eddy.


Scott Townsend

Posted by S. Townsend on September 3, 2004 06:11 PM