MFA Interaction Design: How would you describe your course “Selling Design” in one sentence?
Jeffrey Zeldman: We prepare students for professional life after they graduate with their MFA.
MFA IXD: What were the top three take-aways your students had at the end of your class?
- I know what work life is like inside each kind of design organization—studio, start-up, in-house design department, and so on.
- I know what kind of design organization best suits my temperament, talents, and short- and long-term professional goals.
- If I choose to create a product, alone or with others, I know how to choose partners and build a user community around my project.
MFA IXD: How did your own perspective evolve over the course of the semester?
JZ: The students were brilliant at defining themselves and their goals early on; the course and my perspective evolved out of the unique qualities of these particular designers and their needs. Just like design, the course was a collaborative project defined and structured by its participants and tailored to their needs and desired outcomes.
No one made anything in this course; this course was not their work, it was their spa, their "me" time, their listening time.
MFA IXD: Could you give one example of things students made in the course?
JZ: No one made anything in this course; this course was not their work, it was their spa, their “me” time, their listening time. They made questions, I suppose.
MFA IXD: What book(s) would you recommend for people interested in this class?
Design Is A Job, by Mike Monteiro
MFA IXD: If you could go back and cover one thing you didn’t have the chance to cover, what would it be? Why’d you leave it out?
JZ: At the request of administrative personnel, we cancelled our semester-end wrap-up session so some other teachers could use our room. It wasn’t a big deal; the students had already gotten everything out of the class that they were going to get. So I’m okay with it.
MFA IXD: Which actor would play you in the movie about your class?
JZ: Either Robert Downey, Jr. or Danny Devito.