On Our Learning Environments

Last night, I got to spend some time with a group of design students from Farmingdale.

We were practicing mock interviews, 30 minutes, one-on-ones between working designers and senior students. Going over their portfolios, asking questions, and providing feedback.

Giving them a chance to practice in a safe environment before they went out into the real world.

We assume that once you graduate, your license to be a student expires. It’s the logic that because I’m getting paid, I’m a professional, and if I’m a professional, I’m not a student. It appears to be a linear path. We look at schools as factories that take in students and spit out professionals.

Once we chuck that graduation cap in the sky, our self-perception shifts along with it in a one way street.

The irony of school is that it’s meant to prepare you to be a professional for the rest of your life. But what if instead we were prepared to be students for life?

The freedom to explore and experiment are critical to how we learn. So how do you keep that spirit?

If school was a playground to experiment and learn, then we need to find an equivalent playground and playmates after we graduate. And find it whether it’s a physical, digital, or psychological space.