With technology, we are more connected than ever, which makes changes happen even faster. I could not imagine the graphic design world I know now without social media or the internet, also as a mediator for networking. I am part of a generation that has been born with technology and it is very difficult to imagine this world any other way. With the pandemic, technological growth has been accelerated, and will probably only increase over the years.
Graphic design has changed a lot during these last years. Even since I started my interest in it about four years ago, I have been able to notice it. Technology has been the main factor in these changes. As it progresses, the rest of the fields go along with it. If they don't, they become obsolete. In a way, technology rules our world, it dictates our progress and makes everyone follow a certain path and speed. I believe that we, creatives, need to adapt and absorb as much knowledge about new technologies as possible to be able to incorporate it into our own work and not miss out on opportunities. Of course traditional graphic design methods should persist but it is important to evolve. It is in a way our duty as designers to respond to what happens around us in the world.
Working at the studio, I have seen firsthand how companies ask more and more to integrate new technologies in their branding and design. It is no news. This has made the studio I was working at expand their knowledge and step out of their comfort zone. This has encouraged me to keep learning areas that I was already interested in like motion design, creative coding, 3D, or VR, and AI and generative processes. Deepening my knowledge in these areas is something that I would have liked to explore more during my DPS year. However my internship studio was not specialized in any of this, in fact, I was the one who knew more about new technologies from my previous experience in university. So all the progress I have made on this has been on my own from my lockdown room… This led me to make my first contact with live coding and TidalCycles, a platform for writing music with code that has blown my mind. Generating music from code and interacting with your computer to make sounds. Crazy. As a musician, I am very interested in mixing my designs and musical background together. I am eager to find new ways of exploring music production through technology, with generative design and music following the steps of musicians like Holly Herndon ( https://youtu.be/k67IKMXzD7A ). She has created Spawn, an AI baby that rather than replacing the human voice, works through a voice-modeling approach. These ways of making music are something I definitely want to explore more in the future and will probably try for my final year at university.
After having this year of real experience, I see the world differently. I cannot imagine myself working on a very particular area of design for the rest of my life, but to keep exploring and learning and shaping my practice around the world that grows and moves on, especially around new technologies. By doing this, so many new doors will open for exploration and non-comformation!
The current pandemic leads to billions of citizens to encounter a distinct lifestyle, and the more I have been doing self quarantine the more I sense how my life, even the design I am doing is highly ralated, or to say depends on technologies.
It exert its best capacity that it prove their importance to human being and it is also presumed the COVID-19 could be a portal for human beings to get into a post-internet life.
The other day when I was reading Peart's article ‘Automation Threatens to Make Graphic Designers Obsolete’ . He mentioned that artificial intelligence is tending to bring the multiple creative opportunities that eliminate the digital design process, which leads to the duty of a designer shift to, in his word ‘directing, selecting, and fine-tuning, rather than making.’ When some computational procedures are starting to be capable to develop as a designer, what left to the human designer is that to be a ‘conductor’, a ‘manager’ rather than a ‘musician’, an ‘executor’.
This makes me ponder, what is the position of a graphic designer in 10 years? People have been saying it's crucial to train oursleves to be a T shape person, but in lights of designer's position might shifted from executor to conductor, should all the creatives be generalist in the future?
Can data and algorithm replaced designer, to fulfil the whole process of the design, from coming up with idea and brief, to deliver results, without any external assistance? There is already existing automation called generative design is born that it releases designers from making from scratch. Generative design, by quoting chief technology officer of Autodesk Jeff Kowalski’ word, it is ‘a method of achieving results by
sharing your goals, objectives and constraints with the computer, and partnering with it to explore the solution space before you commit to just one and take it through to manufacturing and delivery.’ This indicates the generative design is authorizing the ‘maker’ position to the computer, aiming at discovering the best design by algorithm showing designers the complete solution and enabling creators to navigate and explore what some of the trade-offs are before they pick one prematurely.
Those facts make me realise the importance of mindset value, and the way of seeing the world. At my first year in LCC, I am quite frustrated that uni doesn't teach me enough 'skills' such as c4d, typeface design, and so on. But the more I think about it, the more I value the effort of making students to knowing what the society's need is and being more minded.
Laia Pons Fernandez