Saturday, June 20, 2009

Design Students of the World, Unite! Design Schools at NeoCon 2009

I think it's great that design schools participate in NeoCon. It gives former students a place to meet up with fellow alumni and former instructors, prospective students a chance to get more information about the schools and their design philosophy, and current students a chance to work at one of the most important trade shows in the industry.

These are a few of the schools whose booths I visited.


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I really enjoyed talking with the people at Savannah College of Art and Design's booth. And what a booth it was. Can you believe the chair above was designed by a student? The chair in the photo above is the Chrysalis chair designed by Timothy Luscher. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the instructors and he told me about the school's design philosophy. They are educating their students to be well rounded designers, and the goal is for them to know not just how to design interiors and products, but even their own logos. The school has also gone international and now has a campus in Hong Kong.

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The School of the Art Institute was represented there as well. This year they had a booth with a small exhibit of products that graduate students in industrial design created from Corian. Above you can see just a small sampling of what they came up with. Their pieces all related to the theme of "Objects That Entertain Us" and included toys, customizable dumbells, and even a fish tank with motion activated lights. Pretty innovative considering that we usually just think of Corian as something to make counter tops out of.

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The booth for my alma mater, Harrington College of Design, was very conceptual this year. Visitors were invited to write their design constraints on a name tag and stick it to the wall. I think they covered just about every possible design constraint you can think of. The recurring themes were lack of time and money. The message they communicated, "Don't let your personal constraints affect your creativity," is definitely a timely one.

So if you are thinking about going to design school, don't just watch HGTV. Visit the schools at NeoCon so you can see what their students are doing and get a chance to talk to some of the professors so you can see what school is right for you.

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