design apprenticeships & the educational experience . . .

design schools in the united states, usually value curriculum structures that place strong emphasis on the individual’s ability to enter the profession immediately upon graduation. at wentworth institute of technology and the university of cincinnati, the schools’ educational models and curricula take internships into account with graduation requirements. in vocations where craftsmanship is of high quality, internships are also known as apprenticeships. an apprentice is usually a novice that is trying to gain practical experience about an art or a trade through serving another for a limited period of time. they are usually looking for practical information and valuable experiences about their chosen profession that they haven’t encountered in the academic arena (that’s why i would personally consider a exchange semester as a cultural apprenticeship). when an apprentice shows interest, talent, creative as well as practical problem solving, the apprenticeship can develop into possibly another form of working together. here’s one example from my industrial design studio archives and wentworth institute of technology, from 2003. shown below is steve listwon’s directed studies project, with the working title of, “the uban nomad furniture project.” steve’s topic for his directed studies research and directed studies studio project were greatly influenced by his apprenticeship with bill bancroft furniture design*. after graduation, steve joined bill bancroft furniture design as a full time employee and is still working directly with bill bancroft today. from teaching hundreds of design students, i feel that the expectations of apprenticeships should be taken seriously again for furthering current educational models and curricula.

steve listwon’s urban nomad furniture project

* here’s a link to bill bancroft furniture design:
bill bancroft furniture design, boston massachusetts

here’s also a link & the diagram below from graphic designer,
jessica hische about working for free: should i work for free?

posted 3 September 2010

categories education