Katherine Dudzik Smith / Volume and Void / Principal Architect / M.Arch, College of Design, ASU, 2007 / 06.11.18
Where is design going?
Design is how humanity interacts with our world. Designing for the future must leverage advancing technologies that amplify being human while respecting the environment in which we live. Good design elevates an experience, bad design is subtractive.
How can design education be more relevant?
Design education is very relevant broadly as an iterative thinking process, but it should not be distilled to just that. Giving students the ability to articulate the importance of their designs to a broader audience than fellow designers will carry relevance beyond their profession.
What are the future skillsets designers need to learn now?
Designers will have to be more in tune with materials, technologies, construction techniques, pricing, new modelling tools, the business side of projects, and the politics shaping a project (be that client needs or a governing body).
What should a design school do to prepare students for transdisciplinary work?
The students will need critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as the ability to articulate their ideas to someone unfamiliar with our specific lexicons.
What should a design school do to forward equity and inclusion?
Studio culture and classes stem from very specific cultural origins. Students hail from very different cultures, not all of which are conducive to having a strong voice required to put forth one’s ideas, or even defend them, within a team or at a review. Building an environment of egalitarian, collaborative work where everyone is comfortable expressing constructive critique and response is paramount to being inclusive. The school administration should keep an eye out for unconscious bias from professors who promote only one or two types of students; professors notorious for comments or certain bad behaviors diminish both the credibility of the school and the profession, dissuading specific groups from continuing forward into practice.