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The Most Promising Profession of the Future

Practice, creativity, and experiments
06.18.2020
The Most Promising Profession of the Future

Designer is one of the most demanded professions of today and one of the most promising professions of tomorrow. What do design specialists need to be competitive and able to fulfil their potential? We talked about that with Elizaveta Zemlyanova who is the Dean of the Faculty of Design of IGUMO and lecturer with extensive experience. She is a mentor to hundreds of students, many of whom have not only fulfilled themselves creatively but also achieved great success in the profession.

Елизавета-ЗемляноваT.jpg Elizaveta Zemlyanova
Dean of the Faculty of Design of IGUMO and Architecture College of MKIK, Curator of the Days of Contemporary Art (DOCA) international festival

Practice is one of the main components of training of future designers. All the projects, in which Elizaveta Zemlyanova’s students take part, are practice-oriented. At the same time, the Dean believes that the development of only creative skills is not enough to make success in the profession. Design is a sphere that requires a specialist to be competent in a variety of fields. 

– What competencies, in your opinion, should a modern designer have? 

– Enrollees often ask us if we train specialists focusing on, for example, animation or flash design. However, we don’t see the point in creating such narrowly focused training programmes. That’s not relevant today. 

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Today’s world needs not specialists of a narrow profile but multi-skilled professionals competent in many fields. 

Graphic designers at our faculty know how to do everything from creating illustrations to developing websites. Within four years of training, they master a huge number of competencies necessary to meet the needs of today’s market. Our interior designers study architecture deeply and are able to carry out projects at all phases from technical design and drawings to decorating the space. 

It should be noted that the students our Faculty of Design develop their graduation projects for real customers. We always focus on the demands of the labor market and under that our task is to train not just good but demanded specialists. 

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Designers should understand that creative talent is not enough to be successful in profession from the very start of their education. Many different competencies are required in addition to that. Everything depends on the field of work chosen by a designer. 

– The faculty’s students have recently defended their theses. What projects were the brightest and most interesting this year? 

– It is surely impossible to single out one or several projects because they are all very different and memorable. It is difficult to compare them to one another. There were projects for a variety of customers, including a designer clothes store, an agency for financial and marketing services, a jewelry store, and other organisations. That vast list is a vivid illustration of what diverse knowledge students needed to fulfil their projects. 

Our graduates had to study the chosen area of work thoroughly to create a functioning design bringing real benefits to the customer and consumers. They were to identify the target audience, analyse the market, and go deeper into the history of design of particular industries. Only after that students started the practical part of the project. 

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For example, one of the graduation projects was dedicated to the design of a jewelry brand. That required not only a high level of the student’s creative skills but also special knowledge of jewelry industry, production technologies, and even packaging. The project included visualisation of the idea and a clear instruction on its fulfilment.

A designer needs to not only be able to visualise his or her idea but also understand how it can be implemented. Otherwise, designers’ works will be useless. 

The ability to sell their services is another important skill for designers. For example, one of our students found the customer with whom she wanted to work. She prepared her cases, showed her portfolio, and offered cooperation. Today, her project on creation of a corporate style for that organisation is already under way. 

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Our students created videos and posters for the 2x2 TV channel and its project Don’t Grow Up – It's a Trap as part of their graduation works. 

This year, our interior designers had an interesting task to develop design options for a show apartment in a real residential complex. 

Thus, we offered our students to carry out creative and fully functional commercial projects. Each of them was very difficult and required a lot of additional knowledge from the students. However, they sincerely enjoyed that and benefited from those activities.

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– You are a lecturer and mentor with extensive experience. Your students love you very much. Can you share your professional tips on training future designers? 

– Together with many other lecturers, I have been guiding our students for several years. Over his time, we get to know them well and start to see special talents of each student. We understand what they are interested in and in what areas they have greater potential. 

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We train creative professionals and each of them is one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable, with their original styles and specific talents. The task of the lecturer is to reveal those features in students and turn them into their main professional advantage. We provide students with experimentation opportunities and freedom of creativity to identify their strengths. 

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– What would you wish future or beginning designers? 

– The most important thing is not to limit yourself anyway. You can’t even allow yourself to think in the “I want that but…” way. That’s the wrong position for anyone. 

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You have to learn to find opportunities, not excuses. Then your life will change completely. 

I wish them not to be afraid of failures. It is important to understand that any failure is also experience. It is often even more valuable than the experience gained when achieving success. Failures are an integral part of creative activities. They are much more useful than we think because sometimes our mistakes give birth to something completely new and unique. 

Viktoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency 

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov


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