McCoy Lecture and Panel Discussion

As part of my commitment to write more thoroughly about something pertaining to design, I've decided to talk about my experience at the McCoy Lecture and panel discussion this past Saturday. The first part of the morning consisted of a lecture about the future of graphic design by both Kathy and Mike McCoy. To be honest, it was difficult for me to comprehend some of the topics they covered, but the points I did understand really resonated with me. One point that Kathy stressed about the future of design is that it is becoming more complex and cognitive. Because of this change, amateur professionals that are coming out of school are quite valuable to companies because they are more relevant while mature professionals are struggling to keep up with the change. She also mentioned the possibility of an increase in the amount of years it would take to complete a degree in visual communications.

The second half of the morning was the panel discussion, which really held my attention.  When Chris  Chaplin began the discussion he wanted to have an open dialogue between the panel and audience. Chris also made it a point to hear from the students, which had us squirming uncomfortably in our chairs. Anyways, what I found most intriguing about the discussion was the dialogue between the various fields of design and also hearing them speak about their personal practice. Another great aspect of the morning was the diversity of age in both the audience and panel. There were two points that became apparent to me while following the discussion. First, was the idea of collaboration  and teamwork that Jamie has been trying to reinforce in us all semester. As Kathy mentioned earlier about increase of complexity and cognition in design, it is almost necessary to work as a team for the best outcome. It is really a difficult concept for us beginning designers to understand that we don't have complete ownership  of our work in practice, which leads me to my next point. The panel also discussed the idea of agreeing upon a philosophy or a concept when beginning a project. When everyone buys into the idea, in a sense, you still have ownership over the project but as a team.

I was excited when Jessie Wilson had the last word in the discussion. She asked the entire panel what they wished they would have known when they were our age. Everyone gave us great feedback, however Mike McCoy's comment stuck the most with me. He told us to always retain the mindset of a student. Even after we graduate we're continually learning because it is one of the most important attributes for a designer to continue to feed our minds. After the lecture and panel discussion, I felt moved. I think I learned a lot from the experience, maybe even more than I imagined. In the future I want to continue to attend and participate in events like this.

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