Following Up From Yesterday

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photo: flickr member G A R N E T

Yesterday, David Ramos commented upon my conversation with Adobe’s Lea Hickman:

Design curricula are failing to teach students how to work programmatically, and the best response, then, is to make software that tries to compensate for designers’ lack of knowledge? I can’t agree.

…and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, that’s the actual reason I wrote the piece—to point out that our design schools are failing us, flat out, by not integrating technology and design, and that the industry is going to continue to force designers into a corner.

I’m going to go one step further and say that if you, as a designer of the future do not participate intimately with technology, you will fail. You must understand the basic ideas of construction behind the web to design for it. Period. The end.

I emailed David later to see what his experience with technologists might be in the area he’s teaching. This is what he said:

I’m trying to get a handle on this whole kerfluffle, about how design and programatic-thinking meet. …and no, code is by no means common.

And yet I know that my colleagues and one-time school friends are teaching these subjects—be it with Processing, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, or through collaboration with people in computer science. I don’t have a sense for the ubiquity of these courses. I do get the feeling that they sit on the higher end of electives, and outside the design core curriculum.

This is a line of thinking I have continually touted in my writing here: design education is failing right now, because of its focus on visuals and lack of focus on technology. If anyone can even begin to prove me wrong, I’d love to hear about it. Oh look, there’s a comments form right down there.