Recently I took the tour again: a bus took us to the outskirts of Eindhoven where a deserted and ran-down warehouse was hosting the graduation show of the Design Academy. A dark, huge space filled with dramatically lit exhibits of student work and many, many people wandering around, observing the work with a mixture of interest, curiosity and disbelief.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the show: almost two hundred students were apparently graduating and showcasing their stuff.
Two things immediately came to my mind: what the heck are they showing here and where the heck do these graduates want to pick up a job?
Do you have children? If not, no problem, because you might recall these yourself: the parent conference days! This ‘running-around-at-the-school-campus-and-looking-for-the-room’ where teachers are waiting for parents and their school-kids. Depending on the pupils’ ‘performance level’, the numbers of meetings were few or many and likewise a torture or purely a matter of duty.
They made the appointment together, father and daughter, in order to find out what the bachelor in design management is all about. Apparently she was looking for a study program in which she could follow her affinity towards creativity, whereas Dad seemed to have something in mind, which would lead to a solid job qualification, and would be of real value in the economy as he knows it. That’s why the ‘management’ in the program’s title seemed to ease him a bit and accordingly he was very curious to find out what the heck ‘design’ had to do with it.
If it was their attempt to find a compromise between themselves that brought them in my office I cannot tell, but during our conversation it became clear to me that she was there mainly because of the design, and he only because of the management.
We all want superstars, supermodels – or an ‘idol’!
Millions of TV-viewers are following seemingly ordinary people in their battle against competition and aim to shine in the limelight – and with that to gain fame and fortune! It seems to be irrelevant what these people actually do, they just have to convince ‘the jury’ with features others don’t have: if you’re not the prettiest, then be the ugliest; if you can’t sing like Pavarotti, why not name the cat food brand by sniffing at your kitties poo? To be at the top of the ladder, it’s essential to be unique and to deliver uniqueness – and it doesn’t matter if the uniqueness doesn‘t add to anything, it just has to add to yourself. more…
It was one of these design events, like many others in Germany: after the panelists had held their speeches, it was time for the Q&A! Finally the audience had the chance to express their opinion, and some immediately took their chance. It was just a question of minutes for the question to be asked – the one on the status of design within companies! more…
They are definitively different, to my opinion… or is it that I get older and fall into the same trap as before me my parents and their parents did: into the one of ignorance? With them I refer to the youth, of course. No, this generation is definitively different! more…