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2011 – Design Education will be at the center stage

We all know that critical mutations are about to shake up the field of education in the years to come and that schools of design, art and media should undergo great upheavals. Globalisation, curriculums taking on an international dimension, new economies surfacing, complete geo-political re-organization of the world… distance learning, green economy, global warming, water scarcity and world hunger, social networks, the need to produce a different type of knowledge through research, to bring to life new business incubators… Design institutions in 2015 may be quite different from what are they are today, in 2011… And only with great humility can we venture to predict what they will be like in 3, 4, 5 years time…
Any strategy speculates on upcoming changes in the technological, social, political and economical environments… How in our right mind can we predict the future when we’re not even sure where we’re coming from?

However we can rightly assert that design education will be at center stage:

– because design, creation, innovation hog the limelight in all fields. Just turn on your TV and you’ll be amazed at how many programs are dedicated to design. Not a single day goes by without TV hosts mentioning interior decoration, trends, design items,
design environments or companies who are taking to manufacturing design items.
We must now give new meaning to all things that surround us; while globalization is reshuffling all beliefs, we must let the spirituality that lies dormant in our daily environment surface.
We must strive to find new meaning, a new identity and a new future to curb the much feared “standardization” brought about by globalization – a standardization that only serves financial markets and productivity in the short run and fails to ensure its own sustainability.

– We must find new values, rethink our lifestyles, companies must reconsider their grounding industrial and financial paradigms. Design schools already hog the limelight because they have made Humankind into THE central issue of all issues, because they fiercely believe in cross-disciplining technology (engineering schools) and economical development (business schools), and because to take up such sizeable challenges as those we are now faced with we must imperatively get together, all of us –sociologists, philosophers, artists, engineers, finance experts, marketers – and think about tomorrow. A tomorrow that has turned slippery because it lacked landmarks… A tomorrow that must be made more secure.

All these upcoming challenges are now well-known to design institutions. Design schools now train designers with sufficient management skills to supervise increasingly more complex management issues, they train project managers, designers whose work feeds on awareness and desire.

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