Soumitri Varadarajan wrote:
> Its the story of what happened over the past two decades to British
> Universities, and the story is the same for universities in Australia.
> Continuous performance evaluation, funding cutbacks, and the push for
> research. Did design schools in the US escape these changes?
I'm interested in the inclusion of "the push for research" in this hit
list. Without reading Mary Evans I am sure there is a strong thesis for
her to advance on these lines and the fetishism of research standing in
the main research-led universities in Britain (the Russell Group) has
led to a strangely skewed agenda that has damaged some undergraduates'
experience in those institutions. But my view of research in our
emerging research field, in the "mixed economy" of ordinary universities
has been very positive. At a time when the effects that Mary Evans
refers to are compromising the education we offer, research (and the
funding it brings) has provided some space and time for some academics
to think more deeply and renew their intellectual resources.
Come back in 15 years and I think we will see a very different picture.
Designers with PhD's (from their discipline) will not be a big deal and
many more people will have come to a settled understanding of how it all
fits together. Right now there is a challenge for many people because
having to take on new ideas and ways of working is bound to be
unsettling and you can't integrate those new ideas overnight. That's why
we see this apparent tension and suggestions that research and practice
are not compatible. There are people contributing to this list whose
achievements give the lie to that but these are still early days and I
accept that they are in the minority.
best wishes from Sheffield