Singaporeans Study - The 5 FAQs About Design Education 

6 minutes reading time (1157 words)

[:en]Welcome back to the Singaporeans Study series. This week, let’s take a look at the field of Design Education. 

1. What is Design Education and why is it significant today?

If you think design is pretty useless, then look around you -  everything around you is a design: The chair you sit on, the table you use, your shoes, car, keys, buildings and the list goes on and on. Every structure has a design and a whole lot of thinking, learning, planning and time go into designing even the smallest of things. It's not just limited to creating material products but it also plays an important role in the field of technology and software. Therefore design education as a field of study cannot be limited to a one-line definition. It extends to fields like architecture, graphic design, web design, packaging design, interior design and more. As part of the courses under design education, students will learn the theory of design, understand the practical application of design and learn to come with effective solutions. 

2. What are the important skills that one must acquire to become proficient in this field?

Here are a few skills that are prerequisite to become proficient in Design Education: 

  • Creative Skills: You must use your imagination and creative thinking to come up with innovative and unique ideas. Eg:  Animation - integrating technology and design through creativity that brings so much joy into people's life through shows and movies. 
  • Analytical Skills:  In the process of designing a product, you must examine as many possible solutions to get the best output. Besides the look, usability, safety and other matters need to be considered as well. 
  • Computer Skills: With the use of digital technology, designing can become more innovative. Having proficiency in photo/video editing, programming, scripting, word processing and many more would definitely make you shine amongst others. 
  • Time Management Skills: You will often have tight deadlines and it can be quite difficult for you to get things done in time especially when clients always request to change things from time to time without advance notice. Be ready with a practical and achievable plan before executing your task.

3. What can one study to specialize in the field of Design Education?

Here is a list of universities that you could consider if you are looking to specialize in Design Education:
Monash University (Australia)
Ranked #55th by QS ranking, this university offers specializations in Communication Design, Industrial Design, Spatial Design or Collaborative Design. At Monash, students can take up the Bachelor's Degree in Architectural Design that focuses on sustainability and future-forward skills while examining buildings within the larger urban or regional environment.

RMIT University (Australia)
The university houses the RMIT Design Archives, a unique resource for research in and about design. Known as the Design Hub, the Design Archive received the Victorian Architecture Medal and the William Wardell Award at the 2013 Victorian Architecture Awards.

RMIT's Communication Design courses focus on the role of communication in contemporary society, in education, cultural and civic sectors. This course has a strong focus on studio learning, enabling the students to learn by doing. All lecturers have worked in the design industry throughout their careers, and will offer you key insights into the contemporary design world. Students will get to work on projects with industry partners such as Australian Graphic Design Association, Deloitte, Kit Cosmetics, Jacky Winter Group, ABC, CFA, Roger Seller ,de Bono Institute and MECCA.

De Montfort University (The UK)
DMU has been named among 'The Best Fashion Schools in the World' by The Business of Fashion (BoF), an internationally renowned fashion website. Their Fashion Design BA (Hons) trains students in the fundamentals of fashion and design through practical, creative and technical classes. Students will also gain international exposure as part of the DMU Global programme, an international experience programme for De Montfort University students. This programme aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop the necessary skills that will ensure the students secure a successful job.

Massey University (New Zealand)
By pursuing a course in Visual Communication Design at Massey University, students can get practical training in publishing, content creation, branding and experience design and entertainment. Students will also understand the impact of visual communication in addressing social, cultural, ecological and technological issues. Students pursuing a Visual Communication Design course at Massey University can benefit from facilities like 3D Workshop, Fab Lab, Lighting Studio, Printmaking Studio, Screen and Digital Print Facility and Toystore. Massey University's Fab Lab is Australia's first digital fabrication laboratory which includes computer-controlled laser-cutters, precision milling machines, 3D printers and surface-mount circuit boards.

4. What does the future of Design Education look like?

The field of design education is constantly evolving and with the help of technology and AI, its growth is bound to be greater in the future. The integration of AI and Design has resulted in several creative innovations such ad 3-D printing. Today, 3-D printing is used for several purposes in multiple sectors. For instance, they play a huge role in producing everyday household products including kitchen utensils, coasters, dresser drawers and even doorknobs. Likewise, designers are working towards designing more creative products with the help of AI.
While pursuing a degree in design can be quite challenging, it is highly rewarding. Today, inventors, designers and creators are working towards creating products that are simple, sustainable and long-lasting. Most of the design courses are interdisciplinary and therefore students can expect to find career opportunities in multiple sectors, including game designing, robotic designing, industrial designing, fashion designing and more.  

5.What is the status of Design Education in Singapore?

At the Design Education Summit organized by DesignSingapore Council held in February 2021, Education Minister Lawrence Wong spoke about the benefits of contributing to the community through design thinking. During the summit, he elaborated on the importance of design as a strategic tool to help Singapore recover from the social and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The emphasis on the need to value design is indicative that the field of design will turn into a dynamic field in the future. 
According to the head of the newly formed national-level Design Education Advisory Committee Low Cheaw Hwei, Design has become increasingly pivotal in people's daily experiences. He had also stated that design education has become more of a widely recognized practice. This new committee headed by Mr Low is working towards integrating design education in higher learning. This comprises nine industry leaders and 14 academics from the institutes of higher learning. One of the important objectives of Mr Low is to change the public perception of design and expand the types of jobs that design graduates can get into.

Design Education sounds like an exciting field of education to you, eh? Our education counsellors at AECC Singapore always work towards providing you with the right guidance to help find the right course in your desired field of study. Book an appointment now! 


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