Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand | Audio

Working-Class Heroes

Alan Rickman worked as a graphic designer before becoming an actor. David Bowie studied layout and typesetting before becoming, well, David Bowie. On this episode, Michael and Jessica discuss the British art school tradition and the difference it made for so many.
"Rickman, Bowie, John Lennon, Keith Richards. A whole long list of people were able to go through a trap door and end up in a completely different world."
Also mentioned:
  • Simon Frith, Art Into Pop
  • Mark Banks & Kate Oakley, The Dance Goes On Forever? Art Schools, Class, and UK Higher Education, This Tortoise Could Save a Life
  • Kiva Confections
  • White House chief digital officer Jason Goldman on digital strategy for the State of the Union

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  • Posted in: Arts + Culture, The Observatory

    Comments [4]

    It is best to take part in a contest for among the best blogs on the web.
    Taposy Rabeya

    Brit art schools in the sixties were of a time and place, and the class-emancipation effect was a once only thing, happening across society, originating in the desire for change that occurred during World War II, that saw Attlee’s Labour (socialist) government charged with rebuilding, not Churchill’s Conservatives. But something like that could be done in the USA now (going post-war would help)—a national non-system of free “art” schools, where young adults could spend three years doing whatever they wanted. You would have to throw the performance principle and measurable results out the window, though, for the trap door to appear. As I recall, there was some stipulation required to get into the foundation year, basically, show a portfolio (and an “O” or “A” level in Art helped), and then again a portfolio showing and interview to get into the 3-year diploma course. But after that, it was pretty much like being a real artist already. Better, perhaps, because you didn’t have to worry about making a living, only changing the world, or getting laid and wasted, or whatever.
    Nick Shinn

    There are many such people who studied less, but became the legends. The best example for such personalities is Sir Isac Newton. He was just 4th standard, though invented the gravitational force of attraction by earth. These incidents really help us to get motivated. However, people hesitate to act. Nowadays, education badly depends on advancement in the technology. These developments are only because of the scientists who have studied less and took actions several times in lifetime. If they were not invented, then the educational system would have remain the same as traditional approach. I would like to disclose you the modern developments in acquiring knowledge. Many of the colleges have started offering online education, custom essay writing services for writing academic coursework, research facilities at college, availability of internet resources, and so on. These factors helps the modern education system differ from the traditional one. It will get advanced in the future as well. Looking for being adaptive of further technical influence in education.
    Charles Arnot

    Good post.Michael Bierut is a person who's very easy to understand, both when you talk to him and when he's doing his work. He's accessible, humane, funny when it's appropriate, and witty almost all of the time. And that's a very important quality for someone who wants to be a communicator.For more visit www.classessays.com
    Linda Collins

    Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer. A former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Eye and Communications Arts magazine, she is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director’s Hall of Fame. Jessica received both her BA and MFA from Yale University where she has taught since 1994. In 2013, she won the AIGA medal.

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