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Brian Lucid

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Everything posted by Brian Lucid

  1. Kia ora all, Earlier this year I invited Philip Fierlinger to join us as a Visiting Professor. Phillip is co-founder and design director of Xero, one of those mythical "unicorn" startups that have reached a valuation of over a billion dollars. One of Philip's projects with us is a podcast on design-led business. While it has a NZ focus, he is keen to make this podcast resonate with design students. He is currently working with our third years to better understand their needs and fears about entering the design workforce. While very much in beta, he has posted a few episodes for feedback. If you have a spare few minutes, give it a listen and post some feedback: https://www.alchemypodcasts.com
  2. We have a "no unpaid internships" policy. The company needs to put forward some sort of compensation, even if it is in-kind.
  3. Kia ora all, I have opened a permenent Lecturer / Senior Lecturer position within the School of Design in beautiful Wellington, New Zealand. For those more familiar with the North American model, this role is roughly equivalent to an Assistant / Associate professor rank. Now 132 years old, the Wellington School of Design at Massey University is currently ranked in the top 100 design programs in the world, and ranked #1 in Asia-Pacific by Red Dot. The successful candidate will demonstrate a high level of achievement in practice, research and teaching in one or more of the following specialisms: typography; graphic design; brand experience; information design; interaction design; user experience; immersive design (design for virtual and mixed reality); concept or entertainment design; illustration; service design; urban design; interior design; exhibition design; or performance design. The candidate should also be able to show strong affiliations with Pasifika communities. Please take a look (link below) and feel free to ask me any questions here. http://massey-careers.massey.ac.nz/10362/lecturer-senior-lecturer
  4. James, I just received my copy and passed one over to Andre! Thank you for your generosity. This is a lovely book and a great resource to undergraduates.
  5. I very much appreciate your comment Dan, and your openmindedness towards the changing educational landscape! Is industry truly the cutting edge in the design fields? I feel if that were true, programmes would not need to support creative practice research, as all of the researchers would be funded by industry. I have found, however, that research has to be disseminated before industry picks it up. An example would be an industrial designer who's work is shown at places like the Milan Furniture Fair in an effort to get picked up by a commercial distributor. Golan Levin gives a powerful presentation that shows how many interactive agency's "R+D" is actually the work of media art practitioners who's work is appropriated for marketing purposes. In terms of your last sentence, I would argue that while both are "rigorous" they have very different ends. Industry practice, in my personal experience, creates breadth. PhD study is focused upon depth (often to a pedantic degree).
  6. For my institution, that follows national guidelines for research loosely modeled on the UK's REF, I would order these the following way: Grant Base Research Project: Peer Review Publication: Published Book: Unless its from a top publisher, book publication is not supported or valued very highly. Peer Review Conference Presentations are not seen as research. Conferences are considered networking events. Dissemination is allowed there, but its not valued very highly.
  7. Overseas, yes. PhDs in the Visual Arts / Design are big business across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Of course, it helps that in most of those countries you cannot teach at a tertiary level without a PhD in your discipline!
  8. Kia ora Michele, How your MS is assessed is entirely up to the institution that wants to hire you! Different institutions will have different expectations or requirements. Same with how much value is placed on your professional experience. In the United States it is entirely up to each institution and its hiring processes. This is not true in other countries, where there are clear national standards for those lecturing in tertiary education and clear national standards for postgraduate levels of study. I once served on a promotion committee for a US candidate that did not have a terminal degree, but instead had a letter from his Provost citing an equivalency based on his professional experience and international standing. In the context of that institution, this was not something that could be challenged. While NASAD has guidelines, you would never see an institution get written up over one or two of its faculty not having terminal degrees. If it was across the board in a program, you might see a mention in the report, but individuals would never be singled out. The key issue here is what defines a "terminal degree", a term used in the United States but -- as I have discovered -- not anywhere else. To be "terminal" means that it is the highest degree awarded in a given field. This is not university specific, but is based upon professional standards within a discipline. For art and design in the United States, this is the MFA and has been since the mid-80s. In theory, the MFA is separated from the MS or MA by a significant amount of studio practice and independently-led research. In practice, these programmes can overlap in terms of curriculum and expectations. But it is the distinction (MFA) that is considered terminal, not the programme, so those who hold alternate masters degrees often struggle from the issue you describe. When facing a hiring committee assessing you in the United States, the onus would be on you to show that your master's education was roughly equivalent to an MFA in terms of being research-led so they can be sure that you are adequately prepared to undertake independent academic research / scholarship outside of professional practice. No matter how much professional experience a candidate has, if they will be assessed and promoted through an academic lens (such as journal publications) it is unfair to drop someone into that environment if they do not have some foundation within it. But, again, its all about the expectations of the school and their expectations for teaching, research and scholarship. The funny thing about this whole discussion is that most other countries no longer consider the MFA as terminal. A PhD is required to teach in Europe, Australia and many other countries. That last sentence in the NASAD standards is an opinion and a position -- "Unreasonable" is a strong word -- and I honestly wonder how long this will last with so many programmes around the world cranking out new design Masters and PhDs. Apologies for this long post! I oversee BDes, MDes, MFA and PhD programmes in Design, so I am quite fascinated by the topic of academic leveling and progression. Do you need to pursue another degree? Not until someone makes you! It is not uncommon to hire candidates with the stipulation that they complete a specific academic degree within a certain time-frame. However, if I was to build a requirement to achive an MFA or a PhD into a faculty contract, I would also expect to pay for it, as it is a condition of employment!
  9. I love this sentence in Carnegie Mellon's undergraduate design degree page explaining why they chose BDes: https://design.cmu.edu/programs/undergrad "This degree is equivalent in rank to a BFA, but acknowledges the growing importance of the design disciplines as separate and distinct from Fine Art."
  10. Two examples: At my former institution in the United States we, at one time, offered dedicated courses such as Graphic Design History. These courses were classified as "academic studies" focused (using NASAD terms) and were long taught by skilled and knowedable studio faculty with MFAs. Policy was eventually changed so that all such history / critical study courses had to be taught by faculty with PhDs. Finding such a person proved impossible, which led to us to either not deliver discipline-specific academic studies courses or to move this content into studio-based courses. I recently ran two international faculty searches, one for Communication Design and one for Spatial Design. In terms of the candidates, I do not recall any of the Communication Design candidates having PhDs. In contrast, nearly half of the Spatial Design candidates held a PhD.
  11. Is your university moving towards requiring tertiary educators to have a PhD within their discipline? is it encouraged? In the United States (and a few other countries) the MFA / MDes has long been considered the “terminal” degree for postgraduate study. Overseas, this is not so. Many parts of the world now have clear standards of levelling between masters and PhD study in art and design. They encourage or expect design educators at the tertiary level to hold a PhD. This partly reflects the maturing of design research, but is also a response to the need for institutions to beef up their research quota. What are your thoughts on the PhD within art and design disciplines? Both in terms of traditional scholarship and creative-practice PhDs? PhD study has very different goals from MFA/MDes study. What are the implications, at the faculty level, of these changing expectations? Have you ever found not having a PhD a limitation (for promotion / tenure / or in practice?)
  12. Here is an interesting link around the "myths and realities" of assessment from Otis. http://www.otis.edu/myths-reality I found a similar document on my old university's wiki. I sense that both of these documents were written in a effort to motivate and engage faculty who were less than keen on the coming wave of assessment. I certainly agree that university-wide assessment programmes often fail to align with art and design study. At MassArt, we made an attempt to define our own assessment practices rooted in art and design in an initiative that ran from 2009 - 2013. I would point you to Dr. Lois Hetland, a Massart faculty member who has done much research on assessment in the arts and is now a senior research affiliate of Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I am not sure this is the "best" paper to point you to, but here is one of their publications: The Quality of Quality, Understanding Excellence in Arts Education. (http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/Documents/Understanding-Excellence-in-Arts-Education.pdf)
  13. Under Education legislation, New Zealand's universities are charged with the responsibility to act as "the critic and conscience of society". We have an obligation towards society, and are expected to work for what we view as the good of that society, even at the cost of passing judgement on it. So, in that context, social activism is an expected action of our researchers and our students.
  14. Nice idea Robin. Happy to throw my name into the ring as my university values this type of service. I currently hold the role of Professor of Interaction Design. In American parlance, I would be considered the Dean of Design for my University. I lead Ngā Pae Māhutonga, a design school which holds a top 100 world QS ranking in Creative Arts and Design. Prior to my move to NZ, I was a Professor of Design at MassArt in the United States. I am comfortable assessing both candidates for promotion and tenure at free-standing art and design institutions and research-focused Universities. I am a NASAD evaluator, but have not done much service in this area now that I live overseas.
  15. I agree Jessica. I would argue that my existing Visual Communication Design programme is as strong if not stronger in interaction design and service design than in more "traditional" visual approaches. Our challenge then is one of naming...
  16. This question sits across research, teaching and service. How is your total academic workload defined? How is your activity measured? Is it a flexible system? Do you have a clear system of hours you are measured to? How many hours of teaching are you expected to do across a year? How many hours of service? How is research time factored in? Is postgraduate teaching and supervision evaluated in the same way as undergraduate? Do you use research funds to buy yourself out of your teaching? How much does that cost? My school has a defined model, but it is not really working. I am about to start a process to re-evaluate it. I would be keen to hear other's experience.
  17. I am curious to read reply's on this question. I would point you to look outside of Communication Design to Industrial Design programs, who hopefully have been teaching design and ergonomics research since the 70s!
  18. Hi Dan, I posted something similar in the "Teaching" section. We teach two courses on Augmented / Mixed Reality. One in a required third year course and an elective that is open to all students except first years. Since last year we have primarily focused upon using the Microsoft Hololens as the hardware platform. The students use Unity to create thier prototypes, and the process is generally similar to VR production. Testing can be done on the Hololens via a wireless connection between your computer running unity and your headset. How much your students can get done in 15 weeks will be dependent on thier modeling and unity skills. All of our spatial design students use VR from thier second year to prototype thier built enviornments, so Unity is familiar to them and they get up to speed quickly. The Communication Design students often have less Unity experience. I make the students work in teams, so try to get a blend of skills in each team. Students can do conceptual prototypes, but often struggle with the details as they cannot truly interact with thier experience and iterate with it. I have run a variety of assignments, each exploring different issues that exist in Mixed Reality. Last semester we explored an extention of the UI ideas that Randall B. Smith explored at Xerox PARC around the tension between literalism and magic. MR brings a unique challenge when artifical elements are blended into physical reality but don't align to realistic metaphors. We have also run a module that explored perception issues with information graphics in virtual/augmented spaces.
  19. Developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence bring possibilities of radical disruptions in design practice. As an example, this post on the Netflix technology blog documents how machine learning was combined with A/B testing to create personalised visuals for every user of the service: https://medium.com/netflix-techblog/artwork-personalization-c589f074ad76 How are you preparing your students for data-driven design? Are your students or colleagues doing substantive research in this space?
  20. Thanks Dan! I am in complete alignment with your thoughts about interaction design. I suppose the core challenge is that students are increasingly "brand-name shoppers" and want to see a degree program that aligns with their career choice (as much as I might find that thinking limited).
  21. I have a long university document I can post if there is interest, but in short, promotions sit on a three legged stool of research, teaching and service. A research faculty member moves through the ranks of lecturer, senior lecturer, associate professor, to professor. Research is probably the property that is weighted most highly, and one will not move above Senior Lecturer unless you have research of international impact or are bringing significant sums of money to the institution. The promotions criteria and expectations are clearly described for each level. Promotions at the lecturer and senior lecturer level are assessed within our College, but those applying for Associate Professor and Professor must go up against a university-wide committee. Associate Professor and Professor applications require 3 to 5 external assessments. Off the top of my head I do not have a sense of success rates, but it is generally expected that it will take several attempts to be successful, and that the majority of researchers in the university will finish their career at the Senior Lecturer level. Sadly, while teaching is evaluated in promotions, in practice it is not ranked very highly.
  22. I have a major that -- while titled "Visual Communication Design" -- has been award-winning interaction designers (and service designers) for many years. Recently, some of our competitors have launched "interaction design" programs separate from their visual communication / graphic design programs. I loathe to separate my program as I believe that interaction design has to be taught holistically, with input from visual communication design, spatial design, and industrial design -- but am mindful that if I want to compete, I may need to fly an "interaction design" flag that is separate from communication design. Thoughts about this? Anyone looking to separate or create a new major? What value is there to teaching interaction design separate from other disciplines? (Note: this question is a shameless repost from another forum)
  23. How university research is assessed in New Zealand is defined by the government in this document: http://www.tec.govt.nz/assets/Forms-templates-and-guides/PBRF-Panel-Specific-Guidelines-2018-Quality-Evaluation.pdf If you jump to page 18 you can read the research assessment guidelines for the Creative and Performing Arts. If you are working with your department or university to help them understand and define creative practice as research, the language in this document might be useful for you. Similar documents exist for the UK.
  24. Hey! I have a copy of James' book that he kindly sent me. To me, this issue is all about audience. If you are looking to get your ideas out to the general public, self-publishing seems to be the best choice these days. Daniel Shiffman's The Nature of Code is a great example of a kickstarted book that raised far above his original target. But you rightly note the challenges of self-publishing for those who are up for promotion, tenure or regularly face research assessments. Part of my role is to assess research, and my university has a clear policy of requiring quality assurance for all research outputs. Self-publishing is a clear no-no, and even more traditional publishing houses that ask for a small fee for publishing your book are looked at negatively. In truth, my institution ranks the value of all book publishing -- no matter the publisher -- as significantly lower than getting your writing accepted into highly ranked peer-reviewed journals.
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