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Reading 8 "1000 words for design students" by Allan Chochinov

KEY WORDS:
There are many of them for this reading, but the two that stand out the most to me personally are...
inspiration, perspiration

To be a successful designer, argues Chochinov in a rather creative and concise way, you must commit yourself to your studies and your work. "It's not exciting and it's not revelatory, but it really does turn out that the students who work the hardest and commit themselves the fullest end up with the best stuff," writes Chochinov. He encourages students to get the biggest bang for their bucks by utilizing all tools the school has to offer; coming early and staying after class, doing their homework, working on their presentation skills, and documenting all of their work photographically. Collaborating with other students and teachers is also strongly recommended. Chochinov also emphasizes broadening one's knowledge of the workings of the world. To do so, he suggests regularly reading the newspaper and auditing a non-design class for noncredit, which expands your general knowledge of other subject areas without the pressure of grades. He also, interestingly, points out the fact that students should be clear about what they want and need from their teachers, who are actually there because of the students; not the other way around.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

1) Chochinov recommends that design students "get off campus," connecting with communities of people who are doing design for a living and a life. How would seeking out an internship or apprenticeship while in school benefit a design student's education in a way that the traditional design school cannot?

2) The importance of presentation skills (public speaking and writing) is illustrated by Chochinov, who argues that no matter how good a designer you are, without a certain level of presentation skills, nobody will ever know. Despite his assertion, there are many (including Dr. Tom Fisher, in his guest lecture) who feel that good design speaks for itself, without the need for written or spoken explanation. Do you agree or disagree with Chochinov's extreme emphasis on presentation skills?