BE OPEN RESEARCH
BE OPEN, the social and cultural foundation that supports creativity and innovation, has published the results of several research works dedicated to education in arts and architecture.
The initiative was launched in 2013, when the foundation started developing the research methodology through analyzing secondary creative education across Europe, the results of that analysis were presented in September the same year. Switching from these most elaborate and “mature” educational systems to ones of South America and Asia, BE OPEN updated its methods to better fit their peculiarities – the dynamic growth, fast development and outstanding potential in the majority of business and public areas.
“I am convinced that BE OPEN’s ranking lists of design, arts and architecture schools are a very timely and important tool for young people who want to pursue a creative profession. The contemporary world has less and less boundaries, so boys and girls from Europe can go study arts to the US, or Brazil, or Tokyo. And that is truly fantastic because it’s a double win – you can study design and another culture, explore a whole new esthetics, which is a very useful thing for an artist, or a designer, or an architect. So knowing your opportunities, being able to weigh all cons and pros without yet actually leaving home just by looking through those lists is actually an enormous help.”
Architect & Product Designer
“I found quite interesting the idea of a “Renaissance of Design”; I totally agree with the changes that you analyzed and now, more than ever, there is a clear awareness around design and creative arts among not-specialized people as well. All these conditions are the cause of the necessity to define which are the new criteria of education, as you did. In my opinion, and according to my personal idea of Design, I would follow three main criteria of selection:
- INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMES;
- PRACTICE – ORIENTED EDUCATIONAL;
- BALANCE BETWEEN INNOVATION AND GEOGRAPHICAL TRADITION.
Starting from the concept that both design and creative arts are really complicated to teach, what the university/college could do is to offer a project methodology, focused on developing a personal interpretation of this method in each one of the students. Substantial innovation in the program is fundamental in order to change things, keep on refining programs, courses, methodology; the practice-oriented education is essential to create a real experience in applying the learned methods, in order to understand all the employment dynamics.
Finally, the third point refers to design as a multifaceted subject that, since its beginning, was heavily influenced by territory, from a cultural, social and political point of view. Scandinavian Design, Japanese Design, Italian Design: each one has their own characteristics and features. It’s quite important that a University/College is able to offer a global vision regarding design but, at the same time, to focus on the history, traditions, and culture behind it, in order to use these aspects as a strong point”.
I think that future students who are pursuing a higher education in the design field should consider first-hand experiences of current students and how an institution actually benefits them before the reputation of a school. The students also might consider how much guidance they need. Some improve by having more freedom in projects and some benefit from a strict education structure. I think it is all personal and depends on the student’s previous education and even their personality! The criteria I would follow is towards a system that promotes a certain amount of freedom and self-discipline. In the end, it is the graduating students that make the reputation of an institution. So their first-hand experience would be the main criteria I would follow while choosing a school. Design is a highly visual field and the work coming out of a programme is usually published or exhibited for the public to see. It is one of the best indication of the type of education I think.Each programme has I’m sure strengths and weaknesses and some might promote practical experience but might not touch on what happens after graduation perhaps. But I found that schools that encourage exchange programmes and that have a multi-language and multi-cultural environment manage to teach the students more realistic experiences on how it is to work in the real world and this is the kind of place I would consider above anything else”.
CEO at Publitrust, Integrated advertising and communication agency