Teach the ability to monetize design. Interview with Dmytro Medyanyk, Managing Director of the European School of Design.

The capital’s European School of Design trains specialists in the relevant field in several areas, including subject design, which is, so to speak, an integral part of the interior, leading in the curriculum of this educational institution.

– Our School of Design was created, – said its managing director Dmitry Medyanyk, – when the concept of “design thinking” dominated: they say, design is primary, everything else is derived from it. If you want to strengthen your business, then learn to think like a designer. To some extent, this statement is still correct, because design is a way not only of aesthetic (beautiful) organization of space, but also ergonomic (comfortable), optimally balanced (profitable, appropriate) organization.

In the education system, such a school is positioned as an educational project for teaching creative professions, which professes the principle of functioning of business schools. Of course, the design profession is perhaps the most interesting of the creative ones, because it is a synthesis of several professional skills – both creative, and applied, and purely commercial. A real designer is an artist, an architect, a marketer, a component maker, and an entrepreneur. And the applied side of this profession is no less important than creative. If the artist creates as he wants – relying only on his feelings, his worldview, the designer creates his own projects, taking into account the whims of a particular client, whose requests he must satisfy with his work in full. So the task, the mission of this school is not only to teach the creative component of the profession (which is emphasized by academic universities), but also the ability to implement it profitably. In other words – business in this profession.

Preparing to implement the idea of ​​creating such a school, its organizers studied the market and realized that many truly original, talented, creative designers are not in demand, because they are passive in promoting their projects, themselves as a designer. As they say, they know how to cook, but they don’t know how to serve. And this skill also needs to be taught. And thoroughly. This is the difference between EDS and various courses, which superficially and hastily prepare their students for the profession, who become “semi-designers” and thus only discredit the profession. And it differs from academic “universities” in that not only, as already mentioned, it trains designers as representatives of the creative profession, but also teaches them to use their acquired profession and ability to monetize their work. Sometimes not only the ability but also the unwillingness to do it gets in the way: they say it is below my creative dignity. To break competently and correctly, after all listeners mostly come here already formed personalities, having higher education and some specialty. Without exaggeration, no other educational institution trains designers in such a way – so comprehensively and thoroughly.

 – In order to avoid subjectivity, narrowness, limitation of priorities and experience of one teacher, – says the director, – we involve in the development of even a separate topic up to a dozen practicing speakers from different fields of practice, not always design. For example, if the topic is “upholstered furniture”, it is inexpedient to entrust its presentation only to a practicing designer, because he will not make a comprehensive presentation, but will focus the attention of listeners on their preferences – style, materials and components and their suppliers, colors and more. The topic will be presented more fully and comprehensively if you involve, say, an expert in the market of sales of such furniture.

The European School of Design is an institution that provides a second higher education. Unfortunately, in Ukraine there is no official qualification of educational institutions in this area, because of this the school cannot be accredited within the existing educational system. Nevertheless, its training programs in the main areas of training (interior design and decoration) are certified by the International Association of Interior Designers (IIDA). Thus, the definition of the school as European is not for a good word, but has a solid justification.

In addition to purely educational, classroom, the school involves many so-called active development programs. It is a club of professional interests, and various seminars, conferences, workshops, festivals, and master classes, and online schools, and interaction with partners.

 – All this contributes to the fact that our graduates can easily and successfully enter the market of design services, and most of them find their niche there and are firmly established in it – make a name for themselves, – sums up Dmitry Medyanyk. – Largely due to the fact that they come to us as motivated as possible, and because they deal with real customers, with real projects during the training period. It is also important that during the academic period, the curators of their real projects are necessarily practicing designers with whom the school cooperates.


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