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Online Design Education


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Poll: Would you be interested in a low-cost, online design education resource? (46 member(s) have cast votes)

Interested?

  1. Yes, I'd be interested (37 votes [80.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 80.43%

  2. Yes, I'd be interested but don't have reliable Internet (1 votes [2.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.17%

  3. Maybe. I'd have to know more (see my question below) (6 votes [13.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.04%

  4. No, I can barely connect to the Intarwebs as it is (1 votes [2.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.17%

  5. No, I wouldn't be interested (1 votes [2.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.17%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:29 PM

For a few years I've considered setting up a non-accredited, relatively informal, but very low cost educational resource either for aspiring designers hoping to get into a program or for students who are perhaps struggling a bit and could benefit from just a little more assistance.

The idea is that online classes would be small - around 10 or so - and be held once a week for 2-3 hours. I'm thinking that the cost would be US$25/month paid on a monthly basis; so no major investment or commitment. And because I have a few decent contacts, I'd try to convince some professionals to take an interest and perhaps review the work or provide some general guidance.

To be sure, the only way I see to make this work for me would be to attract some sponsors. I have a good one in mind right now that might be enough to kick things in gear. But of course if there's no interest then I'm wasting both their and my time.

So given that rough outline for how it might work (and assuming that payment issues are resolvable), how many people would be interested?

#2 Guest_maumau_*

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 06:56 PM

looks very promising and attractive, csven. what kind of topics you have in mind? i'd be interested.

#3 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:08 PM

I was thinking topics would mostly cover the kinds of basic things people learn in school ... but as part of actual design activities.

I don't want to lecture or teach design history; I'd bore myself to sleep (and probably plenty of others as well). More interesting would be to have 4-week design assignments (or perhaps 8-week assignments, assuming people would prefer more time) where an integral part of the project is learning something which might be taught in a lecture class. For example, an assignment might be to design something based on an art movement; or maybe design something using rotational molding processes. That sort of thing.

This could use more thought and input from others, so suggestions are very welcome and much appreciated.

#4 Guest_maumau_*

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:23 PM

well, that is exactly what i went thru when i was at college, designing based on certain tech, material or trend. and as odd as it would sound, i miss that kind of brain stretches.

i can only imagine the shared experience we could all, veterans and newbies, obtain from this. hopefully, this will materialise soon.

best of lucks! if i can be of any help, please let me know.

#5 engio

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:30 PM

edit: the last 2 posts were posted while I was typing, some of my issues have been resolved.

---

The idea sounds interesting, but as the only example you put is aspiring students I suspect me personally wouldn't quite fit the target group. What would you teach (if that's what you decide to call it)?


What I would be interested in are real-life examples in specific areas. Focus on a product and tell all about the process of designing it, explain the background of all important (and trivial) decisions, as well as consequences - good or bad - of those decisions. Explain how it worked in real life with all the constraints and not in a theoretically perfect student world.

How were you thinking to execute it? Is it going to be live and interactive or a "pre-recorded" lesson? Text based, podcast, video-podcast? Actually on a second thought, as I quite enjoy your food-for-thought posts, and so if the content would be interesting and well presented I'd be willing to pay that fee, even if not for the purpose of being your "student". Perhaps consider providing a cheaper alternative (relatively speaking, not commenting the price at this point) for those who won't submit work to get feedback on, but just "sit in" ?

#6 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 07:53 PM

well, that is exactly what i went thru when i was at college, designing based on certain tech, material or trend. and as odd as it would sound, i miss that kind of brain stretches.

Agreed. I especially appreciated the way the instructors aligned the lecture classes (e.g. Art History) with the studio classes (e.g. Design). Active learning via passive learning is just something I think works well for people hoping to enter this field.

hopefully, this will materialise soon.

best of lucks! if i can be of any help, please let me know.

If people are interested (and I'm not sure they are), I could probably get started by September. And if it's successful, I'd want to bring other professionals in as well. I could imagine this being relatively popular and my not being able to keep up with it (short of increasing class sizes, which I'd resist).

#7 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:11 PM

The idea sounds interesting, but as the only example you put is aspiring students I suspect me personally wouldn't quite fit the target group. What would you teach (if that's what you decide to call it)?

I'm loathe to call it "teaching", because when it's organized as this would be that puts me in the "teacher" role, and I'm not comfortable with that title. I'd rather it be considered mentoring (similar to how professionals mentor interns).

However, you're correct in that it's not directed at professionals, though I imagine that some degreed people (who partied a bit too much during school) might find it helpful. But it's really about basic skills.

What I would be interested in are real-life examples in specific areas. Focus on a product and tell all about the process of designing it, explain the background of all important (and trivial) decisions, as well as consequences - good or bad - of those decisions. Explain how it worked in real life with all the constraints and not in a theoretically perfect student world.

If the mentoring went well, I can imagine this sort of thing being provided free of charge where proceeds to pay for it come from a sponsor or from advertising (though advertising which is strictly controlled; I don't care for the AdSense-style stuff that too-often incorrectly infers relevance).

How were you thinking to execute it? Is it going to be live and interactive or a "pre-recorded" lesson? Text based, podcast, video-podcast? Actually on a second thought, as I quite enjoy your food-for-thought posts, and so if the content would be interesting and well presented I'd be willing to pay that fee, even if not for the purpose of being your "student". Perhaps consider providing a cheaper alternative (relatively speaking, not commenting the price at this point) for those who won't submit work to get feedback on, but just "sit in" ?

Live and interactive with an asymmetric component (using a socnet like Ning or just something I'd host).

Anyway, appreciate the vote of confidence, and hopefully I'd be bringing a lot of that sort of thing into the sessions. As for the alternatives, I could run those the same as the "real-life example" sessions you mentioned above. Those may not be as frequent; perhaps monthly. I could see giving one, then maybe getting one of the co-founders of Replicator to talk, then maybe get someone like Jamais Cascio (one of the founders of WorldChanging) or one of the other extraordinarily bright futurists to talk, and then maybe tap some other interesting people with whom I've corresponded (maybe I could even get Bruce Sterling; I'd definitely ask him).

#8 waikit

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 03:47 AM

Interesting initiative! It would be nice to download recorded video lessons about different aspects of design or having an archive of reliable documents about ergonomics, materials, manufacturing processes, etc.. for quick reference. I think that such a big source of educational and informational data is still missing and useful for many ID students and some professionals.
It would also be interesting to bring in designers from designs studio to talk about a specific design project and learn us about the whole process. For them, it might a nice promotion.
Monthly live video sessions are great and even better: for instance allow the viewer to ask questions (maybe small payment for each question), while they are queuing in line. I believe you would need a customized software for this kind of interactive system.
Just some few thoughts. Please let me know if you need our support from this site to help you building this up.
I have pinned this topic to attract attention!

#9 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 12:23 PM

Interesting initiative! It would be nice to download recorded video lessons about different aspects of design or having an archive of reliable documents about ergonomics, materials, manufacturing processes, etc.. for quick reference. I think that such a big source of educational and informational data is still missing and useful for many ID students and some professionals.

Agreed. This really isn't intended to provide that resource, though it could certainly use something like it.

It would also be interesting to bring in designers from designs studio to talk about a specific design project and learn us about the whole process. For them, it might a nice promotion.

That's actually what I have in mind. I'm old friends with some relatively well-known designers and I think it'd be cool to have some of them talk about their work.

Monthly live video sessions are great and even better: for instance allow the viewer to ask questions (maybe small payment for each question), while they are queuing in line. I believe you would need a customized software for this kind of interactive system.

Can be done now with a variety of software options; more popping up all the time. I'm not 100% sure which I'd use right now. I'm in contact with some educators who are taking their college classes online and they're input is helpful.

Just some few thoughts. Please let me know if you need our support from this site to help you building this up.
I have pinned this topic to attract attention!

Thank you. Pinning the thread helps. Even if there isn't enough interest now, the level of interest is worth tracking imo, since I expect that at some point people will warm to the concept.

#10 Guest_Lilith_*

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 09:53 AM

this sounds very exciting! so i would give it a try. i am assuming the interest on this will rise near september, as now ex. most of the students are enjoying their holydays.
so is this still in progress?

#11 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 11:37 AM

Nothing's in progress except gauging if there's sufficient interest and looking at the software applications to see which makes the most sense. There's one in which I'm particularly interested, but it's still in beta; waiting for a planned update now.

Have to say though, considering the number of views and the relatively few votes, I'm not sure it's worth the effort and expense. I'm guessing most people are happy with the tutorials they find online. But it's still early. I'll make a decision in early August I think. That gives me a month which should be sufficient time to put together an effort.

#12 engio

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:32 PM

Have you thought about contacting design departments at Universities, for the sake of promotion? I mean tutors usually recommend books, seminars etc, why not this?

Also, I've seen quite recently that many PhD ads within the design field want to focus on digital design and online collaboration (with CAD/PDM and all) so perhaps this could be of interest to them. I'm thinking - they promote it to the students which gets you the business, while the PhD students research the outcome.

#13 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 04:47 PM

Have you thought about contacting design departments at Universities, for the sake of promotion? I mean tutors usually recommend books, seminars etc, why not this?

Also, I've seen quite recently that many PhD ads within the design field want to focus on digital design and online collaboration (with CAD/PDM and all) so perhaps this could be of interest to them. I'm thinking - they promote it to the students which gets you the business, while the PhD students research the outcome.

Have to confess, I'm generally unimpressed with what I'm seeing out of the traditional design education community, so while I'd considered contacting, for example, the ID Dept Chair at CIA (who's an old friend) and setting up some kind of tutoring system, I'd rather not form any associations. At least not at this point.

I've even considered contacting the IDSA (bc the president is another old friend) but again I'm cautious. There's too much politics involved for my taste. I'm getting long in the tooth, but I still prefer design to managing design.

On the second point, interestingly enough I was involved much of this morning with a PhD candidate's effort in digital design collaboration (though I initially thought it was just a Philips Design thing). Turns out they could use some help, so perhaps there are some synergies. I need to give that some additional thought since I've not been impressed with them (that said, it was funny how the first thing they did was tell me of changes they made as a result of some complaints I posted elsewhere; if nothing else they paid attention).

Thanks for the suggestions. That second one is something I'd not considered and perhaps that's worth pursuing.

#14 waikit

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 04:13 PM

FYI:
http://www.designboo...bics/index.html

#15 Guest_csven_*

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 04:28 PM

I'd forgotten about those. Thanks for the reminder.

Has anyone taken one? My perception was that these were basically lecture style offerings and not especially interactive; a forum-style discussion not unlike what people have here and elsewhere.

Would be interested in hearing of people's experiences.




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