Product designer and Camberwell College of Arts senior lecturer in 3D Design Tim Parsons is saying goodbye to familiar climes and setting off across the seas.
In the next few weeks he’ll be moving to Chicago to take up his position as Associate Professor in Designed Objects at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects department covers architecture, interior and product design, and according to Parsons, the research to teaching ratio is more favourable to research activity than in many UK universities.
On the teaching side, Parsons has noticed that there’s a lot more control over content, assessment and the outcomes required at his new post. He says, ‘In the UK there is more structure in place in the way a course is designed, the assessment criteria and learning outcomes.’
At the School of the Art Institute, Parsons says there is a strong sense of cultivating designers that will not just serve the conventional industries but will go on to set up their own businesses. He says, ‘The department is broad in its remit, it’s got an enlightening view of what constitutes design.’
Whereas neighbouring Illinois Institute of Technology, which was established by members of the Bauhaus movement, has a more business and strategy focus, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago teaches design as a cultural marker ‘from an art school perspective’, says Parsons.
When I spoke to Tim, he was busy packing up his things ready for the move and frantically trying to get rid of his unwanted possessions. Top of the list is a 1993 Renault Twingo, which he’s keen to part ways with for around £500 – so if you’re in need of a design-mobile, feel free to call Tim on 07866 566 227.
The DW team wishes Tim the best of luck across the pond. Our loss is Chicago’s gain.