On Where I Stand
“You will all miss school once you're no longer in school” said Doug Scott at the end of our graphic design history class last week. His words reminded me how I longed to be back in classes towards the end of both my co-ops, so I know he is right. As students we are encouraged to experiment and innovate, we are given the freedom to shape our projects based on our own interests and identity. We find ourselves driven by a sincere desire to produce thoughtful work and our professors are continuously giving us access to engaging and inspiring content and resources. Over five years, we get to know our professors, peers and most importantly, ourselves. By senior year we feel comfortable enough to assert ourselves and take responsibility for our work. Writing this is making me sentimental because as much as I look forward to this transition, I could be a design student forever.
What frightens me is the acknowledged disconnect between studying design and working in design. What is now a utopic bubble of supportive professors, beautiful typefaces and big ideas is about to get real, real quick. This applies to any student in any major: our desire to continue creating thoughtful work will be intercepted and challenged by endless limitations, regulations and egos. As Northeastern students though, we have a tremendous advantage of (somewhat) knowing what we are getting into. We're prepared to walk into our first job with a tougher skin than the one we walked into our first co-op with. Our professors have mapped out the past five years of our lives but now there is no consensus on what our next steps should be because only we can decide that. Sitting in the same class for several semesters does not make us the same designers or the same person and we are to follow the threads of our own interests.
This specific writing project exemplifies how design is a vehicle for self exploration. Designers reach resolution through inquiry and exploration. An external investigation leads to an internal one. I am grateful for the understanding I have of the designer that I am and am eager to better my understanding of others. Through exploration that I undertake in my work I want to produce design work that has the ability to educate and unite.
Feeling hopeful, to be continued.