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Which clippings match 'New Opportunity' keyword pg.1 of 1
17 FEBRUARY 2013

Let's not let new technology change our profession or our industry...

"This newscast from KRON in San Francisco in 1981 has been making the rounds recently. It's labeled 'primitive Internet report,' but what it presents is actually one example of the many pre–Internet efforts that the newspaper industry made to try to plan for an online future – and stake out its own turf in that forthcoming world. ...

In the video, you can hear [Dave] Cole say, of the 'Electronic Examiner' he was demonstrating, 'We're not in it to make money.' At the end, the announcer points out that an entire edition of the paper takes two hours to download, at a $5/hour cost – making this 'telepaper' little competition for the paper edition. 'For the moment at least,' the reporter declares, over the image of a sidewalk news vendor hawking the afternoon edition, 'this fellow isn't worried about being out of a job.'

Though the piece does say that 'Engineers now predict the day will come when we get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer,' its underlying message is – Don't worry. This crazy computer stuff isn't going to change anything much for now. And indeed it took 10 years for any sort of online service to become even remotely popular. Almost 30 years later, newspapers are still in business; some are even still sold by guys on sidewalks. It has taken this long for the technology to transform the newspaper biz in a big way. ...

But even as the downloads sped up and the connect–time costs dropped, the industry held onto that approach, instead of coming to grips with the fundamentally different dynamics of a new communications medium. What had made sense in the early days over time became a crippling set of blinders. The spirit of experimentation that the Examiner set out with in 1981 dried up, replaced by an industry–wide allergy to fundamental change.

'Let's use the new technology,' editors and executives would say, 'but let's not let the technology change our profession or our industry.' They largely succeeded in resisting change. Now it's catching up with them."

(Scott Rosenberg, 29 January 2009)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 MAY 2011

Educators who have repeated the same kerning and hand-drawn letterform exercises will find themselves teaching at a school that simply isn't focused on typography anymore

"We are a culture that increasingly questions consumption and advertising, which are at the heart of industrial and graphic design disciplines. We rely on a dynamic and constantly evolving technological platform that touches all aspects of life. There is an increased demand for service–based jobs as our country re–evaluates economic sustainability. People are demanding quality, reflective and meaningful experiences in their world.

Yet design education, as a whole, hasn't embraced these challenges and opportunities.

To be direct and explicit, educators who have taught the same foundation studies courses for years will need to dramatically revamp their courses or face irrelevance. Educators who have repeated the same kerning and hand–drawn letterform exercises will find themselves teaching at a school that simply isn't focused on typography anymore – and tenure notwithstanding, these individuals will find themselves without a role. Educators who are unwilling to retrain themselves will be replaced.

If you are one of these educators, or you work at one of these programs, you may acknowledge these necessary shifts, but find personal action to be difficult. It is difficult. And it's difficult because the shift is large, fundamental and of critical importance. You'll need to read, and take courses, and attend new conferences; you'll need to re–build yourself and your expertise in a new light. You'll go from knowing all of the answers to not even knowing the problems.

But it's no longer a matter of choice. Because if you aren't able to find a new opportunity, a new specialty, and embrace the topics described above, you may soon find yourself alone or replaced. Our subject matter is too important, and our role too fundamental, to leave to the traditions of even great educational movements like the Bauhaus. The subject of design is the humanization of technology, and as long as technological advancements continue, so the pragmatic and day–to–day jobs of designers will continue to morph. And so must design education continue to evolve."

(Jon Kolko, 2010)

Jon Kolko (2010). 'Remapping The Curriculum', AIGA | the professional association for design

AIGA Design Educators Conference "New Contexts/New Practices", October 8–10, 2010, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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