I got a Merit!

Having received my first grade … I got a merit! I can honestly say I am chuffed! A lot of people have said an MA may be too much for me. Going back to education after industry has been a challenge to say the least. So, Merit! (Beaming from ear to ear) Writing and reading are by no means my strengths, however I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge!

I have been told from a young age by my wise mother ‘the way you look at something and approach it with effect the outcome”. So rather than this being something I cant do, something a dyslexic creative shouldn’t do, it is something I will do. Something I will success in.

So what stopped me from getting a distinction!?

Mostly – my industry experience! Not that Dave said exactly that – but, it is, what is holding me back from ‘thinking’ freely, letting go and not worrying about the end outcome. “Enjoy exploring” was one small comment. Dave is right. And ironically this is in complete contrast to the annual feedback I received as a professional designer “just do it, Emma, stop thinking and just do it”.


This for me is a concern – warning, I will be going off topic here – I want to go into FE lecturing, yet having the industry experience still ringing in my ears I am concerned about the sort of ‘design education’ we are giving our next generation. Are we preparing them correctly for industry? If that is the end goal…?

This is worth a read: design education is tragic says Jonathan ive

For students – yes,
for their parents – yes,
for the league table score - yes, maybe,
for the tutors – no.

In my discussions with Manchester University Lecturers it is more, for them, about opening a students mind. If a graduate learns to question, learns to ask why and to have an understanding of their own creativity then they have succeed.

Upon reaching a graduate designing job (if that is even what you would like to do) you then must cut your teeth on the harsh reality of short deadlines, picky clients and colleagues who ask you if they can remove your perfectly designed ‘element’ to get it to - cost in!


Dave’s main advice was around my need to establish what it is that is 'me'. What makes sense to me, rather than just everything that gets me excited (which has a broad scope) I need to be more selective around what I say inspires me or at least what I let inspire me.

Trying to refine and really understand what the difference between:
'that's exciting, oh I love that'
and

'that's exciting, oh I would love to work that way'.

It's less about 'I want to make that object / work with that material' and more about 'I want to work that way' I think that is a fantastic approach to problem solving'. Design thinking, approaching design with a route or set of steps that feel natural and comfortable to me. Taking time to research and understand how I like to work. Dave believes true innovation comes from a design thinking approach, rather than mass-produced ripping off. Having self-assurance, knowing your reasons, justifying why you have reached your end goal.


I still have a long way to go, I am aware that a lot more reading, thinking and ‘pondering’ is required and I am willing to put the thinking time in, however I do still just want to get messy and crafty asap!

I hope to move to a place where I have established my step by step approach to getting messy, so I can go ahead and get messy and then reflect upon it :)

Best of both worlds maybe!?

This week I have started on a series of courses, wokring towards becoming a mentor :) this has given me some reasurance that my end goal may still be achieveable.