Design Students Cannot Think? part 2

Real Solids! How do we know?

From milk to solid food. In most educational settings, students can be seen as babies and children wanting more lactose in their system. As babies grow up, they need certain nutrients to develop their mental and physical well-being. As they say, nothing beats mother’s milk! That’s very true. How true it is that all the formula milk and designer nutrition couldn’t compete with natural nutrition from the mother. However, all other supplementary foods would also assists greatly in children’s growth.

As educators in this creative environment, students are like babies and children. In a country as young as ours and rapidly developing, young people still need to be nurtured and fed with such nutrition. Knowledge is one all in one super-nutrition that anyone couldn’t deny. It doesn’t matter which industry or field, knowledge in these areas is beneficial to all walks of life. What does students want to achieve? That question has always been answered in the classroom when students decided to undertake a challenge.

When lecturers answer their questions, they would be giving the students ideas and solutions about the problems faced. Teachers and lecturers have not only answered questions but also providing students with the knowledge which was the requirement of the course or rather the text or website address which was supposed to be beneficial to the students. The question is, have the student benefited from that? Did they learn anything?

‘Sir, did I do that correctly?’ asked a design student.

That question refers to the final sketch of a particular design solution. Would this question mean that this student has no confidence about his/her design solution or would it mean that this student does not know how to do it? How would we interpret that question? I have encountered this situation numerous times and I found out only to my delight, that these students were actually only nervous. It’s like a little bird which learning to fly.

It’s not like they couldn’t fathom the scope of the creative brief! What I have done is to assure them that, besides fulfilling client requirements, they should be certain about their ability to solve the design problem. Therefore, ‘What do you think?’ would it solve that problem? That would be the next course of action between the uncertain student and me. I did that because, it is safe to assume that they have the milk and the nutrition which they need. Now its time to eat meat. This is not in any way insulting vegetarians but what I meant is that they should go for solids.

The creative industry is expanding and developing simultaneously with technology. Therefore, we see much advancement and emergence of new design solutions and statements. This is visible through exhibitions, latest campaigns and design conferences as well as conventions. Sometimes it is necessary to allow these students to even teach a thing or two about the new things that is in the market. Students are supposed to be our channel for education and not us. They are the vital source of information, which I personally feel is precious.

Apart from what I can acquire, I wonder sometimes, how much do they know? We can’t possible say that they are students therefore, they should be any lesser than us. So, they are nervous. The problem with design students in my first observation is that they are hesitant and not that they couldn’t think.

That fact of the matter is, how do they think? The journey of discovery into what and how they think has only just begun. Therefore, If these students deserve solids; then, how do we show them how to get solids? Solids here would be the crutch, for which they would depend on in order to see their solutions implemented or presented. Where are these solids? Where do we get them? How do we as educators open that door for them to get the right knowledge protein and solids? Are they synthetic or original? Where does solids stand when milk isn’t involved?

I‘d be more concerned if none of the students asks us the questions above! Because if so, then whether or not they are thinking is irrelevant. It would be a whole other topic! So in then end the evidences of real thought comes from questions and these are evidences of eating solids! We may have directly or indirectly shown them the way to solids but what have we done to record such an achievement ourselves. It is possible that we ourselves as educators have begun savouring a new form of diet!

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