Wednesday, 24 November 2010

analysing an article, summarising a book

Differing from the ideas my title may give off I in actual fact did not analyse an article and summarise a book. I instead summarised two books. The reason being I have not to date found an appropriate article on my subject and I also wanted to get a head start with reading some books. When I do stumble across a linked article I shall summarise it and pop it up. The two books I have been looking at hold endless amounts of useful information and I have found both books enjoyable even though the writing style at times is very different. I have found myself unable to stop taking notes on each book as they spur lots of different ideas that I can use for further research in to my topic. The first book helps me with ideas on the teaching and education of Graphic Deign whereas the latter allows me to consider the other factors effecting the success of a design course.

The Education of a Graphic Designer, edited by Steven Heller

The main purpose of this book is to bridge the gap between education and graphic design, and show the importance of teaching such a subject. It pulls together thoughts, theories and different ways of practising Graphic Design as well as many different teaching techniques which may inspire a better future for Graphic Education. The authors key question appears to be "how can we look at the education system in relation to Graphic Design and all the notions that surround this in an unbiased fashion to offer new perspectives?" This question is answered well with the inclusion of essays, interviews and course syllabi from a large variety of people and sources providing a wide basis of information from which the readers own ideas can flourish. These methods mentioned are the authors primary sources. The secondary sources present in the book are that of facts from the history of Graphic Design and general knowledge of the subject.

To have success with this book you have to grasp the key concept which means dropping all preconceptions of Graphic Design Education, whether you have had first hand experience or you have heard rumours about the system from others you need to be open to learning that there is a lot more to it than scribbling down notes on typography and photoshop. The book looks at it from all angles; creatively and intellectually.

After letting yourself be open to what is in the book you are likely to conclude that there are a tremendous amount of ways and theories about how each aspect of Graphic Design can be taught. Another conclusion that can be drawn is that each way of teaching and learning Graphic Design is neither right or wrong as the book strongly suggests that there are a more aspects to the success of a teaching method than the teaching method itself. If you take the books line of reasoning and conclusions then it is expected that you will be a person with more rounded and balanced views on Graphic Design Education. You will probably come out of it with your own ideas of what makes a good way of teaching Graphic Design. If you fail to take the books words in to consideration you will remain blinkered to the multitude of theories surrounding Graphic Design Education.

Becoming Designers: Education and Influence, edited by Esther Dudley and Stuart Mealing

Becoming Designers focuses on the designer as an individual and a real person, considering what needs may have to be met and what factors contribute to turning a student in to a practitioner. In other words what factors influence the growth of a designer and also a design course. These factors are dealt with in depth taking in to account everything that could effect them. The author draws a lot of inspiration from quotes, as you find them littered all through out the pages proving ideas and information right. Coinciding with the good use of quotes, a strong knowledge of design history and practise shines through in the text. A great primary source in the book comes in the form of whole chapters being written by different design practitioners, offering a diversity of views.

The key concept in the book is development. It is not a history book of what designers are like and how people become one but instead a clever philosophical and insightful bank of knowledge in to how things and people progress in the ever changing design industry. This way of writing leads us to the books main conclusion, that more theoretically ambitious, pure and applied research programmes are needed to support the furthering of design brilliance. Meaning more experimentation is needed to allow our design students and courses to keep up a good level of success and development. If you agree with this conclusion then you are someone who can look to the future of design rather than drawing what was good in the past. More than ever, there is always room for more success and this book urges this saying in to action.

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