This lecture is the introduction to an Industrial Design Masters module titled "Leaving the Cocoon, Facing the World".
For over three years TU/e ID students have learned to look at their navel. It’s even more than that: the navel needs to be observed, scrutinized, self-criticized, and only up to a point one is able to look beyond this cherished body part. All this is related to the ID competency system, and the model of writing self-evaluations with the goal to reflect on one’s learning experiences. Indeed, it is a powerful way to obtain the tools to gradually become an industrial design engineer.
As the Bachelor’s 3rd year relates to the core theme of acquiring an Identity, one would think this year is an outstanding opportunity to leave the cocoon there and then. After all, internships and an individual Bachelor project give ample opportunities to face the world. For some this is the case, for others it turns out to be a bridge too far. Acquiring independence of thinking takes time and effort, and, above all, a network of knowledge, people, and places. But still being connected to the ID curriculum, an ID Bachelor student first and foremost has to relate to the educational umbilical cord. Righteously so.
The ID Masters phase is another cup of tea altogether. Here as well the curriculum steers the student’s activities. But there are other expectations compared to the Bachelor phase: identity should be further developed, independence of thinking and acting is one of the core requirements throughout the Masters course.
In the ID Masters every step should be an anticipation of things to come: there is a professional life at the end of the tunnel. Where does one stand after the ID Masters graduation? What tools and fundamental insights does the student have when facing the world at large after ending this education?
What is essential is to have developed a bird’s eye perspective on what the world of (industrial) design and cognitive culture is about, and what discourses abound. For many artists, architects and designers, their written statements, manifestos and essays turn out to be essential during their formative years. Because it is not only their art and design that make up their development, but also their writing, and the way they materialize and contextualize their viewpoints.
This module gives you insight into the way a number of outstanding artists, designers and architects have influenced their respective disciplines by means of their essays, statements, and manifestos. In some cases their attitude, opinions, and prophesies influenced a whole generation.
It would be going too far to expect something similar from the module participants, especially because many Masters students obviously don’t have the urge (yet) to be so outspoken, or lack the necessary insight to develop such a key position. This urge comes from within, and manifests itself at the right time and place. But let’s just act as if