When you know little about design, important choices such as whether to pursue graphic or product design may be made for the the most ill-informed reasons.
In the early months of my course I still had a muddled vision of where I was going, though I was influenced as much by the lifestyles of the various factions in the faculty as I was by the academic direction.
My initial ideas of designing products, the mixing, as I saw it, of art and technology, was starting to appeal less. The foundation course shared the annex with the first year of the product design course and to my eyes they appeared what today we might call ‘nerds’. Serious and mainly male, they sported short, neat haircuts and wore sensible sweaters. This was in sharp contrast to those studying graphics and associated disciplines, who we observed when we visited the main building for lectures and meals. These creatures, reflecting the first flowerings of the hippy culture, represented a far more attractive prospect.
The third faction that we observed were the colourful birds of the fashion department. Mainly female (with a sprinkling of flamboyant males) these were the walking showpieces. In our opinion these were the most the most exotic objects of our teenage desire. Simple observation showed that these stylish females were most often seen in the company of graphics students rather than the less fashion conscious product designers – career choices were being made for perhaps the shallowest of motivations.