Designers sketching ideas

I just stumbled on this blog entry from the Core 77 website and it really struck a chord with my career to date. In 2012 I set up my own design studio, thirteen years after graduating with the intention to start instantly! Why did this process take so long you may ask? I think confidence is one thing, confidence in your abilities as a designer/maker. Skill level is a massive factor, a three-year University course seemed like a lifetime in my early twenties but in reality this is only a brief taster of what the design industry expects from designers. I needed to increase my knowledge of design, skills and confidence before the studio/workshop became a reality.

I still feel the same way today as I did thirteen years ago, and hopefully will always feel this way, as that thirst to learn more, to improve your skills, to keep learning, keeps me going in an industry I  love (for the most part!). My career started in commercial furniture design in England, lecturing at Universities, importing furniture from Poland, hanging up clothes in a warehouse, freelance web design, waiter, then to Australia working in a couple of multidisciplinary design studio’s, freelance exhibition designer/event organiser, wayfinding/interpretation at the Adelaide Zoo, lecturing at the Adelaide TAFE, another design studio then finally setting up Tane Design, specialising in furniture design.

Throw into the mix all sort of odds and ends for friends wanting business cards, web sites, stationary, logos, you name it I will have a crack at it! It’s only when you actually stop and write all this stuff down that you start to understand how your current views on design and creation are formed. I firmly believe the more experiences you can have, good or bad within (or out of) you’re chosen profession can only stand you in good stead for whatever path you want your career/life to take.

Anyway here is the article by Richard Kuchinsky that sparked that chain of thought….. see what you think, if you agree or if you feel their should be others added to the list.

10 Things Every Designer Should Do at Least Once in Their Career?

Been thinking lately about what life experiences would make the best designer (skills aside). These are just off the top of my head, nothing too serious or meant to be all-encompassing. I can’t say I’ve done all myself, and not sure how many designers have, but think at the very least it’s an interesting thought experiment and maybe a start of a life guide for designers to consider how those experiences other than the usual skills/jobs can affect a designer’s outlook.A not too serious list, for discussion (in no particular order)-1. Make/Fix something for your own use
2. Get fired
3. Bring a product to market, with your own money
4. Start your own consultancy
5. Pitch/sell an idea to investors
6. Work corporate
7. Work in a consultancy
8. Live/Work in a different country
9. Teach
10. Work on a royalty or equity basis
Foreword by Gary Pennington – Design Director, Tane Design
List by Richard Kuchinsky – Design Director, The Directive Collective

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