I read with great interest your Private View by Michael Evamy (DW 8 December l995) on the designer’s responsibility to society. The designer’s role and responsibility to the world outside design is a subject which we take very seriously on our Communication Media undergraduate course, and we have addressed it as a particular part of our curriculum.
In introducing “issue-based” projects into our second-year programme, we point out that, although the issues may be problems that we are all aware of, designers have not always felt that they could personally address them. We explain that this is a wrong assumption and that designers have many communication skills that enable us to make valuable contributions to real issues.
The design process in which students engage involves individual research into their chosen projects, an analysis of information needs and a design campaign which addresses these needs. We usually contact the national bodies involved in the specific areas, and they have a very useful input into student briefings and final work critiques. The programme has been so successful that some of these organisations have commissioned students to produce “live” designs for them.
Subject leader in graphic design
BA (Hons) Communication Media
Kent Institute of Art and Design
Kent ME16 8AG