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James Pannafino

Design outside of an Art Department, the good and the bad

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In many cases, Design is within an Art and Design department. Some might think the grass is greener and maybe having their own Design department or being part of a different department might have advantages. I like to hear good and bad examples of Design moving. This isn't a discussion on the value of Art in Design, that will always be there. I am looking for more result based stories of design in academic structure.

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The closest I've gotten to this is NASAD telling our Art Department that Design should have it's own distinct BFA degree and track. I was once at a private school where there was a design 'school' and the two programs in it were graphic design and interior design. This worked well and balanced business, art, and other disciplines really nicely. I think a private school has the flexibility to do this versus a state institution. At a state institution, I've mostly seen art departments relying totally on design to maintain enrollment numbers, which creates resentments, etc. 

I had a peer once mention they wanted their design program to be in a business school – which I thought was a unique concept in that it would reinforce design entrepreneurship and professional practices. 

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