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| TRAINING & COURSES

SAE working creatively to shape our best creative minds ‘World Design Capital’ is robust, alive and kicking in Cape Town and in South Africa in 2014. While creatives, artists and designers have been grappling with the concepts of design and design thinking for many years already, the significance and use of these terms for all people are beginning to take a general hold. In the past, certain terms – such as creativity, right-brained and out-of-thebox thinking – tried to tell us what airy-fairy artists, creators, writers, inventors and designers were busy with. There were many books on how to integrate left- and -right-brained thinking, to work holistically and to look at the big picture (or the forest) and not only count the trees. We learned about innovation and inventions, entrepreneurs, wicked problems and imaginative ideation

THE AGE OF DESIGN AND DESIGN THINKERS: Dr Elsabe Pepler, Academic Head of SAE Institute (idea-generation). Throw the general state of the every-growing population’s social and ecological challenges into the mix, and it is clear that logical and analytical thinking alone will not do the job anymore. The same airy-fairy people, it was understood, could maybe bring something different to solving problems. Creative imagineers and design thinkers were called to brain storm ways of solving these tricky human questions, and increasingly more innovative, intuitive and non-logical solutions were found to solve problems. It’s important to remember that the typical artist, creator, imaginative designer, is also usually the one who is

emphatic, human- and user-focused and is attentive to the stories of the people with the problems. The age of design and design thinkers has arrived. Slowly, people realised that design thinking – which is often the opposite of logical and analytical thinking – could be used in many different ways and areas, and that the ‘d-word’ is a totally valid and even scientific means to ‘design’ our lives, careers, happiness, studies, arts, environment, future, homes and cities on a daily basis. The design cycle of ‘define – research – ideate – prototype – choose – implement and learn’ is now a method accessible to all people to help solve their problems and challenges in new, refreshing, innovative and original ways. So can creativity be taught to and learned by all people, or is it reserved for the right-brained imagineers? One of the biggest triumphs of tertiary education, globally and locally, is that entire private schools and universities now deliberately foster and apply the teaching of design and design thinking through creative and critical thinking. SAE Institute is one of these designcreative media schools for sound production and engineering, film production, and animation and motion design. In the business of communication, we approach all media content (texts) as creative designs in answer to audiences’ needs. All media messages – film,

animation, music, sound, magazines, newspapers, posters and books – are communication that is carefully created and designed for optimal effect. Our sound production and engineering students may work with a music group that needs to get out there in the public eye. So we are then driven by creative questions: how can we design their sound, their genre of music, their identities and produce the very best sound for them that we can? For our students in film production, the process is driven by asking: how can we ‘design’ the best film, considering budget, equipment, time, actors and media channels, to become an awardwinning, profitable screen story? Our animation students likewise follow rigorous steps for drawing and illustration, storyboarding, character development, narrative design and finding actors to design good animation films. Motion design can be used to enhance other messages and platforms, such as websites, films, educational content and music. Design, in education, is one of the most forceful and creative forces that can be used to secure a prosperous life and future for everyone in this country. SAE Institute is on this journey to the new ‘kingdom of design and creativity’, where we just love what we do, every day. – Dr Elsabe Pepler, Academic Head of SAE

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September 2014 | SCREENAFRICA | 37

Screen Africa Sepeteber 2014  
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