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Published on November 13th, 2012 | by Helen Olufowobi

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Alt/Shift conference tackles the future of design

Alt/Shift conference logo

The Alt/Shift conference will discuss the future of design education [Derek Yates]

A conference examining the future of design education is being organised by the University of the Arts London (UAL) and global marketing and technology agency LBi.

The Alt/Shift conference will discuss whether educational institutions have a wider social responsibility to build better relationships between secondary and tertiary sectors, and how this can be achieved.

Skills provision, preparation for work and appropriateness of training within universities are on-going debates among the creative industries.

Darryl Clifton, Design Programme Director and BA Illustration course leader at Camberwell College of Arts, explained that one key question is: “How appropriate is it for industries to attempt to dictate how universities should structure courses to produce the best graduates?”

Positive focus

In response to this question, Clifton said that the Alt/Shift conference is hoping to “open up a more meaningful dialogue between the two factions.”

One of the major upheavals in design education over the past two years is the threat to cut Art and Design from the National Curriculum in schools.

Clifton said: “It’s depressing that the government thinks it’s achieving something [basic financial gain] by removing the cultural aspect of education.

“Particularly when we have a government who previously championed the creative industries.”

“It’s depressing that the government thinks it’s achieving something [basic financial gain] by removing the cultural aspect of education.” Darryl Clifton

However, Clifton thinks it could be detrimental to focus on the negative results, explaining: “The way that we’re thinking is how we can start to use what is a very unique position in the sector, in terms of UAL being the largest art and design undergraduate provision in the country.

“We have to come up with strategies that allow us to connect with schools and raise awareness amongst kids.

“The idea of employability needs to be understood and the bigger question is ‘what do we think is the fundamental purpose of higher education?’”

The conference will be held at the LBi event space on Brick Lane on December 13.

 

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Helen Olufowobi



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