To me, the substance of this discussion is that no particular skill or
experience is required to produce good multimedia. This base has seemed to
have been boradened to "design skills are irrelevant. Anyone with a computer
can proguse good design". This argument it total bullshit.
If this argument holds true, companies like John Singleton Advertising and
MOJO design (two of the most successful advertising agencies in Australia)
wouldn't exist. Anyone with a PC and a copy of Microsoft Publisher could
produce media of the quality of VOGUE or WIRED magazines. Anyone with a video
camera and a video recorder (for editing) could produce any of the award-
winning adveratising that comes out of Australia every year (Yellow Pages ads,
Cosmopolitan Magazine TV ads). This is not some vague perception, this is a
fact of real life. Sure there are exceptions (as with all things in life) but
nothing anyone can say will convince me otherwise.
Computers are just a tool. No matter how good design software is, it still
needs a creative mind to drive it. And as most good actors go to acting
school, most good programmers hold computing degrees and most good business-
people have been to buisness school, good creative people need their design
skills fine-tuned by some sort of disciplined course. Universities need to
be flexible enough to offer new courses to meet the demands of the changing
> > And what's all this "you're just fine tuning other peoples stuff" nonsense?
> I took Jimmy to be talking about the issue of creative input. Most
> students think they will have some when they leave university;
> the reality is a little different.
You wouldn't expect a Com Sci graduate to be employed as head software
engineer on a large scale project. Thus you wouldn't expect a design grad to
be employed as art director of a large scale project either.
You would expect a Com Sci graduate to be employed to design and implement
small-scale embedded software with complete design authority from a brief given
the them by their superior. Thus you would expect a design gratuate to
produce small adveratising (say a magazine ad) or a small multimedia object
(say an animation of the companies logo) with complete design control from a
breif given to them by their superiors.
> > As
> > most designers know, the difference between good design and bad design (in
> > visual media anyway) is not content, but layout. Literraly the position of
> > the copy (or graphic) on the page (or screen).
Have a look at the lecture handouts given out in lectures (strangeley enough)
produced using Word or TeX or whatever and compare that with your favourite
textbook on the same subject. Is one easier to read than the other?
They both hold the same information, with a different layout and different
presentation (and even colour sometimes).
> > As you said, any idiot (even
> > me!) can produce multimedia with some basic tools, but it takes someone with
> > outstanding design skills to produce outstanding multimedia. And that person
> > will be paid very well for their talents.
> > I think a degree which mixes design discipline with computing skills would be
> > valuable indeed.
> For such a degree to be worth anything at all, it would have to be put
> together by someone with a deep understanding of design and computing
> theory, history and practice. There are very few such people, and
> few of those would want much to do with universities.
Very cynical IMHO