Re: Designer mobility to management (was ixdcurriculum)
17 Sep 2004 - 3:07pm
Definitely a great thread especially since as someone trying to build a
community here, I'm very interested in making sure that the community of IxD
is built around design which may mean making sure design keeps up to pace
with other aspects of business and management.
I would concur with your general observation.
There is an organization that deals with this question in their pursuit to
change the design cirriculum out there. NextD.org is a very interesting
project. I suggest people involved in education check it out.
Their premise at least partly is that most design education is centered
around artifact creation, which leaves designers w/o the ability to see the
bigger picture. What's funny though and NextD.org would concur is that
designers have the best set of skills for looking at the big picture if they
were only given more of an opportunity.
Such an opportunity is being developed within some design schools that have
"innovation" and "design planning" programs such as IIT's Institute of
Design in Chicago.
As in most things in our industry there is a big differential in experiences
depending on company, geography, and just plain general experience. I agree
with the generalization that Prady expressed, but I'm sure that many many
will come up with exceptions. I know in Ad Agencies there are many in the
design realm who make it big, but I also know the competition is steep
between the creative directors and the account executives (MBA vs. MFA means
MBA usually wins in my experience).
One last point ... Not everyone moves up. I mean it is a pyramid after all
and well, not everyone is going to make it. Sorry, but if we agree to
capitalism, this is one of our biggest realities. Less room at the top.
I do agree w/ the comment that Management is not the only way to "go up";
though it is hard to find companies that appreciate leadership, mentorship,
etc as qualities worthy of "advancement" in terms of respect and pay (that
capitalism thing again). I know I had to "fight" to stay in my role as
Principal Designer and not be pushed (yet) into a management position. I
know though that if I want to ask for that next raise that there is going to
have to be some management tasks taken on that will keep me from the work I
love to do.