Inviting Students to Participate in an Increasingly Globalized Design Market
Stephen B. Allard, Design Symbiosis | Academy of Art University
Link to Stephen's video presentation of this paper.
The new globalized nature of capitalism has forced product and service companies to look beyond their own traditional and mature markets to focus on overseas development that will expand and grow their bottom line. Executives are increasingly concerned with developing overseas markets to satisfy shareholder growth requirements. “A company's long-term goals in China and the timing of the moves required to meet them are strategic issues that chief executives all over the world are, or should be, pondering.”1 In order for design education programs to offer design graduates that can understand the global nature of this new business model, design education is now looking beyond its local roots to partner with university design departments overseas as well as work directly with globalized corporations to reduce the transition time between academia and productivity that targets the new growth areas of the globe.
Increasingly in design education, it is the globalized corporation that is stepping in and sponsoring design education programs that its future employees will gain valuable and relevant experience from. This direct influence, sponsoring and funding of tomorrow’s product designers, allows globalized companies a very valuable glimpse into the future of what their future customers and consumers may want in the products, services and experiences they will need and desire. This supplemental education of tomorrow’s product designers is part savvy research and part good corporate citizen on the part of the globalized corporation. These sponsored projects have now grown in complexity and include international efforts to not only focus on the application of traditional core design pedagogy and real world design problems, but new cross-cultural awareness and communication skills as well. In such a globalized environment, the host universities benefit by an in-kind intellectual exchange of design professionals currently practicing within the industry as well as donations of sponsorship funds and technology tools that design students will utilize in their professional careers. Tools and funding that cannot possibly be included in the universities limited design department budgets.