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VIVID is a three week cultural event in the City of Sydney, focused on ‘light, ideas and design’. It includes Australia’s longest-running design competition and an innovation showcase for new and emerging designers. When they asked Tractor Design School if they would like to hold a panel about creative education they chose the biggest topic they could think of: the future.

The day was perfect, Sydney Harbour was shimmering in the afternoon light and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s Harbour-side room was probably the best place to view it. Two hundred design educators shuffled in, made polite chitchat and took their seats. On the stage sat a panel of design industry heavyweights: Kevin Finn, Chris Laws, Nick Gower, Christopher Doyle and me, the slightly out-of-his-comfort-zone moderator. Shaping the future of design education: on your marks, get set, go. In hindsight we should probably have had a week’s discussion, not the hour we’d planned. On top of that the panel had a decidedly masculine weighting, amplified by the number of beards. This was a point the audience noticed right away and made comment on. Things were tense. In truth, this is what we’d always planned. It’s a tense subject, and one people prefer to skim around rather than tackle head on. The very premise of ‘shaping the future’ suggests there is something wrong with today’s version. This can seem a bit like a slap in the face for design educators who are constantly struggling with the tightrope of industry relevance and ever-increasing government regulations. I’ve been in the business for over ten years and the current environment is by far the most inhibitive, especially when it comes to introducing innovation into curriculums. The fact 200 design educators turned up shows the battle is not lost. Prior to the panel we had sent out a controversial survey where every word was aimed to entice a reaction. Statements questioned whether design educators should be allowed to sit on industry councils and 50

Overcoat Issue Six: Education  

Overcoat Issue Education is themed 'Education'. We explore education in all its facets, whether creatively, socially or morally — education...

Overcoat Issue Six: Education  

Overcoat Issue Education is themed 'Education'. We explore education in all its facets, whether creatively, socially or morally — education...

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