When writing this article and looking for images related to entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial attitude and innovation to serve as cover or references to be used, there were always images of people in suits jumping off cliffs. But what came to my mind was:
“Jeez, there’s no image that reminds me of a designer or even someone outside the admin’s stereotype!”
Which led me to think a lot about the entrepreneurial culture in relation to Design and also if in our graduations the entrepreneurship is treated as an important topic. After all, we are living in times when Design is increasingly incorporated into the strategic core of organizations – be they companies, industries or even NGOs – to assist in decision making and often guide the innovation process in these.
But the big question is: are we being prepared in our undergraduate degrees to work at the strategic level of Design? Or are we just being prepared to perform tasks at operational levels?
During my undergraduate degree, this was already a somewhat unsettling affair among my circle of friends, as we really believed that it was necessary to further discuss at the undergraduate level the importance of the strategic role of the current design.
After all, according to FUMEC University professor Marcos Breder Pinheiro, design education is focused on the application of so-called “classic” methodologies, passing on to students the values established in previous years of design consolidation in Brazilian companies.
The professor states that a review of the academic design education in Brazil is necessary to try to dialogue with the current world order. For if in previous years, the academic concern was focused on the insertion of the young designer in the job market, now it must be linked to the building of professionals capable of think and product innovation.
At the moment the teacher uses the word “think” he refers precisely to the designer present in the strategic core of organizations, the designer who assists in the decision making of organizations and ultimately generates innovation and consequently competitive value for them.
One of the biggest challenges and inspiration that motivates me and my partners in Sabiá – Collaborative Design, is to highlight the importance and potential of Design acting at the strategic level of organizations. It is not easy at all, but it is extremely gratifying to achieve better results for these organizations and to know that it was Design that guided this process.
Still in undergraduate, we attended a discipline called “Design Management” and also another called “Entrepreneurship”. But in conversations with my friends — those who are my partners today — we always wondered if just these disciplines were enough to make us enterprising designers capable of acting at the strategic level of Design.
The conclusion I came to is that these disciplines are not enough for this since there is no direct contact with the market, nor contact between these disciplines that may well complement each other and make the achievement much better. After all, it would be two workloads focused on one goal: to train designers who can think and produce innovation.
At first, I thought it was just something we thought because of the experience we had. But, according to Professor Marcos Breder Pinheiro, the methodology used in the classroom often does not contribute to a broad formation of the professional future, due to the lack of a critical analysis of the current world context. The student is created to follow an “imaginary” briefing (once it is not always possible to have direct access to the companies).
The teacher also points out as a solution to this problem, the change of perspective in the classroom, since it is necessary that the goal for product development is less tied to the product itself and more to the critical development of the student himself, giving you the responsibility for your own future. For in this way, the large contingent of young designers who arrive every year in the job market and cannot achieve a full positioning, with decent and fair wages, will not go unnoticed.
“Encouraging students to gain a broad view of market opportunities, to glimpse innovative ways of inserting their products and themselves into the competitive globalized market is a new methodological path that can be explored. We’re on the brink of following the same formula, creating professionals for a “perfect world” of jobs in small and medium-sized industries and businesses, or building on knowledge that values their ability to tap into the countless opportunities of the new age. ”
Despite concluding that the subjects we studied were not enough to make us thinking designers capable of producing innovation. I could see that this motivated me to seek knowledge beyond the classroom walls and make me a protagonist in this quest. And consequently, it led me to participate in various extracurricular activities that further enhanced my mental repertoire.
Unfortunately, I could not find any articles or data related to the teaching of Entrepreneurship and Design Management in Brazil. Thus, the purpose of this article is to raise questions about this theme in Design courses in Brazil, whether students or teachers … And, to facilitate – and provoke – the beginning of these questions I leave you here a quote:
“(…) What will be the future trajectory of our students? Will it be marked by the narrow apprehension of the market as it is allowed in our schools and colleges? ”- LEITE, 2006