The foundation idea is great, as specialising too soon is disastrous. More focus on inter-disciplinary working, and the flexibility to allow educators to facilitate it by working with other disciplines, is vital for students and raises the profile of design. I’d look to a culture where risk is encouraged – I’m not sure the current marking system allows that, and better showcasing, to inspire others.
Laura Woodroffe, Director of education and professional development, D&AD
A three-year foundation is a long time for young students. I was ready after one year to go on to university and face another three years. Debt is a big problem for graduates, as well as the shortage of jobs, and has become a bigger concern for current students – this could get even bigger with a three-year foundation. The main problem with the current system is graduates emerge with little commercial experience (studio practice and teaching should be more integrated, perhaps with live briefs), are unprepared for dealing with clients, and have no training looking after finances and invoicing.
Alan Clarke, Designer, Gendall Design
The existing three-year degree course is already a foundation course, in that it’s a good basis for a design career. But I do think there should be more flexibility for students to explore different pathways through the courses. That’s because we need a wider range of design professionals – not just brilliant creatives, but also strategists and suits. So degrees need to nurture and reward the full range of design skills. It can’t continue to be a case of ‘one size fits all’.
Lesley Morris, Head of design skills and director, UK Design Skills Alliance, Design Council
I’d ban students from using a computer for the first two years of such a course and issue them with pencils, sketchbooks and a sharpener. In the second year they’d get a rubber, more sketchbooks, a digital camera and a box of matches to burn the previous year’s sketchbooks. In the third year, maybe they’d have a MacBook Air and Rizlas. This may help them use their imaginations and eliminate the cut’n’paste Google culture.
Callum Lumsden, Creative director, Lumsden at Small Back Room