"Perspectives From the Field was the first of what we hope will be many gatherings where Educators can come together to re-imagine the future of graphic design education," explain co-organizers of the event Sandra Gabriele RGD and Angela Norwood RGD. "We are at a transformative point in time for both design education and the profession. Our way of thinking about how and what we design has changed radically from a profession with a focus on creating concrete visual artefacts to one of designing intangible contexts. The conference provided a forum to begin the conversation as a community of graphic design educators."
The event included an opening keynote presentation from Toronto-based designer and educator Maggie Fost, Art Director at Merge Records. Through music videos and personal experiences, Maggie illustrated the importance of aspiration and risk-taking. Her talk focused on strategies for encouraging students to direct their efforts toward continued learning rather than trying to convey a 'designer rockstar' persona.
“The ability and desire to learn new things and the belief that we can continue learning is what keeps life interesting and makes us good designers.” - Maggie Fost
Break-out sessions featured a range of speakers and topics divided into three broad categories: Teaching, Learning and Doing. Presentations explored the merging of traditional techniques with modern digital technologies, the importance of intuitive methods of creation, the academic implications of data visualization, work modes of the creative process, sustainability, interactivity, research, professional practice and more. For a full list of topics and speakers, click here.
Over lunch, roundtable discussions provided opportunities to share opinions and perspectives on issues affecting design education, such as professional development for educators, online and blended curricula, client projects and collaboration, etc.