Whether driven by "the second major paradigm shift" or simply Massive Change, one thing is certain: the future of the practice ain't what it used to be. From ubiquitous computing to the international design marketplace, merging media, and new modes of literacy, (not to mention global climate change and networked warfare), the world may be unrecognizable by the time our students reach their first mid-career retrospective. Will we still be able to recognize graphic design? How do educators prepare for and discuss the future of design? What role can our students play in actively inventing that future themselves? This panel will look at the relationship between graphic design education and changing modes of practice within the design world and the world at large.
As the world changes, does the discipline mutate accordingly? Or do we dismantle and become something else? Are there fundamental, unchanging "principles" that should be taught as graphic design, regardless of context, content, or media? Or should our curricula be agile, responsive, customizable, even anticipatory? And if so, how?
Change is so rapid now that educators can no longer teach students to practice the way that they themselves have. How do educators bridge generational differences, particularly in relation to technology-driven cultural practices? Teaching strategies that rely on apprenticeship and/or technical mastery are finding themselves obsolete. With emerging practices, it is frequently the students who are leading the way. Do we draw boundaries around our students' explorations in order to keep the discipline intact? What do we do when our students' interests move outside of our own expertise? What happens when we bring faculty from other disciplines into a graphic design program's faculty mix?
Design expertise is contributing to disciplines beyond its borders and new opportunities have emerged recently for design within the Humanities, Sciences, Business, and Education. How might learning typography prepare students for a leadership role? Can it? Or are there new skills, new ways of thinking, and new technologies that graphic design programs have to bring into their already impacted curricula in order to keep pace? What new kinds of graphic design programs are under construction? Are they still called graphic design?