A Designer Situation


Designers are first and foremost members of society, sharing the same concerns around education, finance, career prospects, and self-fulfillment as any other practitioners. The creative and humanistic nature of designer roles, however, often places them in an inferior position in meritocratic, progressivist systems. In three sections, designers are contextualized in a scape of lived experiences, anecdotal evidence, and theoretical resources, interwoven to picture a specific designer situation. “The Human Capital” discussed the systemic occupational discrimination against designers made visible and measurable by the US and Canadian immigration offices, attributing this phenomenon to the awkward classification of disciplines, the poor understanding of designer roles at the administrative level, and the skewed emphasis on solving hard problems. “The (Great) Expectations” discussed the implications of Eurocentric ideologies on Chinese students’ choice of postgrad education, the disproportionate expansion of design schools in the UK, the discrepancy between education and the job market, and the circulation of design graduates going back to the sector where they once received tutoring as a result of said factors. “The Job” raised personal reflections on graphic design jobs. The repetitive, substitutable, and non-autonomous aspects were brought up to question the meaningfulness of the very occupation, followed by a brief mention of emergent AI techniques both as opportunities to reduce workload and threats to the job security of graphic designers. As a closing remark, it was suggested that all addressed parties have their liabilities in helping prospective designers realize their compatibility with a designer career through achieving a context-sensitive synergy.


Yi Luo
Student, Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ontario, Canada


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Education


Designer, Design Education, Human Capital, Academic Disciplines, Graphic Design

Digital Media

This presenter hasn’t added media.
Request media and follow this presentation.