Is there a gap between design education and the creative industries?

5 November 2014

Ahead of a panel discussion we’re hosting at London College of Communication next week we’re keen to explore whether the gap between design schools and the creative industries is a problem that needs addressing. You can add your thoughts using the discussion thread below…

To design school or not to design school – that may increasingly be the question.

Are universities preparing students in the right way? Are students doing enough to make sure they are ready to enter the creative industries? And is the industry itself having the right kinds of conversations with art and design schools, engaging future employees and the people who are training them in the best ways possible?

Over the past few weeks our Back To School themed features have been exploring creative education from various angles and naturally as part of that discussion the very role of formal art and design training has come under scrutiny. With tuition fees here in the UK reaching up to £9,000 a year, it’s not surprising that traditional models of education are being looked at.

For the most part though, the epicentre of this debate has been somewhere slightly different. When we spoke to creative figures in the USA and around Europe about art and design education in their respective countries, a common refrain was a concern about disconnect between arts education and the industry.

We hear similar grumbles here in the UK, from students questioning how ready they are for careers in the creative industries; employers suggesting that prospective new recruits don’t have the skill-sets they need; and universities trying to balance their responsibilities to students, subject development and industry expectations.

We think this is an important debate to have, so we’ll be hosting a panel discussion called Bridging the Gap: Design Education and Industry with London College of Communication (where our directors Alex Bec and Will Hudson are visiting fellows). We’ve put together a panel to discuss and debate the role of art and design schools in preparing students for the world of work including Professor Lawrence Zeegen (Dean of the School of Design at London College of Communication, UAL), Will Hudson (Director of It’s Nice That), Aries Moross (Designer and Illustrator) and James Gilchrist (Co-founder at Warriors Studio / GDFS and a recent graduate).

Tickets to the event are now sold out, but we still want to hear from you; whether you’re a current student, a recent graduate, a lecturer, an employer or someone who works in the creative industries. Leave your thoughts below and we’ll use these comments to help shape the debate at LCC.

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