"The vicissitudes of the market rarely dictate how many students will enroll in any given year because students' rationale for choosing a design major is not entirely pragmatic. They go to art and design schools to follow a 'creative' path, even though it may be a vague one. They could be 'natural-born artists' encouraged by family and friends to follow their muse, or they might be academically poor 'underachievers' for whom liberal arts holds little promise. Those enrolled in state or private universities or colleges majoring in graphic design may do so by default. Some enroll in fine arts programs because they love to paint, but they compromise (sometimes at the insistence of their parents) by entering communication arts programs. They may even concentrate on painting or printmaking as a minor, but graphic design is their degree goal because employment is necessary.
Despite increased visibility and recognition in the press, however, most students actually know very little about graphic design other than it pays better than fine art. A New York City high school guidance counselor consulted for this article admitted that she routinely sends her art students to art schools for 'general art' rather than focused design because she does not understand the distinction. 'I believe the student will figure out their major once in a program,' she says. But inconsistent design curricula adds to confusion, and when counselors and students are not familiar with the field itself, they cannot make informed decisions about which schools to attend, some of which are much more professionally oriented than others. Some entry requirements will only favor students who exhibit quantifiable potential, though considerably more have rather lenient enrollment policies, presuming that if a student can make a competent photograph or an imaginative collage, they can also be a graphic designer."
(Steven Heller, 08 September 2005)
"scholarly research - creates and sustains the intellectual infrastructure within which pure, developmental and applied research can be conducted. it aims to map the fields in which issues, problems, or questions are located (what is known or understood in the general area of the proposed research already, and how addressing or answering the issues, problems or questions specified will enhance the generally-available knowledge, and, understanding of the area in question). it documents/compiles the knowledge, resources, methods, tools and models evolved through pure, developmental and applied research along with the subsequent results. pure research - asks fundamental questions in the field and explores hypotheses experimentally. it searches for pure knowledge that may uncover issues, theories, laws or metaphors that may help explain why things operate as they do, why they are as they are, or, why they appear to look the ways they do. it generates significant new facts, general theories or reflective models where immediate practical application or long-term economic, social or cultural benefits are not a direct objective. the results may be unexpected and yield original theories, discoveries or models that are unrelated to the disciplines in which the research has been conducted - they may be applied in another research context. developmental research - serves two purposes (a) it identifies the limitations of existing knowledge as evolved through pure research by creating alternative models, experiences and/or thought-systems so to generate useful metaphors for organising insight and expanding/reframing the base of existing knowledge (b) it harnesses, tests and reworks existing knowledge so to evolve special methods, tools and resources in preparation for the solving of specific problems, in specific contexts, through applied research. applied research - involves a process of systematic investigation within a specific context in order to solve an identified problem in that context. it aims to create new or improved systems (of thought or production), artefacts, products, processes, materials, devices, or services for long-term economic, social and/or cultural benefit. it is informed by the intellectual infrastructure of scholarly research in the field; it applies and/or transfers enhanced knowledge, methods, tools and resources from pure and developmental research; it also contributes to scholarship in the field through systematic dissemination of the results. the outcomes cannot usually be directly applied to other contexts because of the specificity of the situation in which the research has been applied although the methods/tools evolved are often transferable."
(Bruce Brown, Paul Gough, Jim Roddis, March 2004)
1). Brown, B., Gough, P. and Roddis, J. (2004) Types of Research in the Creative Arts and Design [online]. Bristol, UK: E-Papers, University of Brighton.
"In 1992, - and just 150 years after their inception as institutions for the promotion of art and design for manufacturing and industry - British art and design schools were invited to compete for research funds against traditional universities with already well embedded scholarly and intellectual infrastructures that supported largely textually-based research. Few people in 1992 anticipated that research success within the academy was a serious proposition for art and design as a subject. Instead, its recent academic history pointed towards professional and vocational training that was rarely understood as linked to 'applied research'. Few art and design institutions had, at that time, evolved the scholarly research infrastructures enjoyed by traditional university departments - so they faced the challenge of articulating intellectual frameworks for research activities that were largely focussed on object-based outputs and visual language. Furthermore, since their incorporation into the polytechnics during the late 1960s and 1970s, the CNAA [Council for National Academic Awards] validation process had emphasized undergraduate course innovation and evaluation at the expense of graduate development and research growth. This combination of circumstances did little to prepare the academic community in the creative arts and design for RAE [Research Assessment Exercise] 1992."
(B Brown, P Gough and J Roddis, March 2004)