Design in the Classroom vs Degas

Hanna wrote the following post on the similarities and differences of the design process in the class room versus Degas:

Last week, after working with the Degas team until midnight I commented about how much that day felt like “college.” By the time it got that late, everyone was making jokes, talking loudly, and acting a little goofy. When I finally climbed into bed, I felt tired yet satisfied. The feeling of that day felt like the late studio nights I was used to.

Since I’ve been at Degas, I haven’t been able to help but compare my experiences here to my college studio life. Our basic approach is pretty similar: we start with research and mood boards, create something, get critiques, and refine our creations.

Yet, there isn’t as much back and forth as I’m used to. Unlike college, there’s no one to hold my hand in each and every part of the design process. I have to make my own decisions.

Both of these experiences are incredibly valuable. It’s important to understand the concept of design and get a better understanding of why something looks good and how to create something. This basic design experience is important so I know what to do and why. Instead of creating something only because it’s pretty, the understanding helps make the idea more grounded and gives me an arsenal of tools I can use. I’m also able to have someone there to make sure I’m doing everything correctly.

On the other hand, at Degas Media I can learn from trial and error. I can stumble upon different techniques and different shortcuts (and remember them better). I can learn from other designers who I’m working alongside. This process of working on my own and attempting to create something that will actually have an impact at Degas (or another company) is hard to find in the classroom.

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