What I won’t teach!
It’s been a year since I published my first online course on www.flexiblevisualsystems.info. Over this year, I’ve developed six courses comprising more than 50 lessons, alongside 20 articles, interviews, and over 50 newsletters. This juncture prompts a reassessment to clarify what makes sense teaching in the future—and perhaps more crucially—what does not.
Don’t worry about production tools. The software you will learn today, won’t be the software you will use in a couple of years.
Let’s begin with the DON’Ts. With two decades of teaching experience, I encounter former students who have ventured into numerous jobs and established their own studios since studying with me. What resonated with them were the fundamental design principles: the ‘why’ behind our actions and the ‘how’ of execution. However, the tools we employed back then have evolved. This is why I refuse to teach specific tools. Even while demonstrating techniques using Illustrator, Figma, or After Effects, I don’t focus on the software itself but on the methodologies of work. Ideally, I impart a methodology adaptable across different tools and enduring over time.
I also refrain from fixating on a specific style. Styles are transient, tethered to trends that emerge and vanish. While it’s impossible not to have a style, I encourage looking beyond my aesthetics to perceive them as variables for personal design exploration.
Focus instead on longterm skills and knowledge! There are century old lessons in communication design that are still relevant, and probably will stay relevant.
What I DO want to teach is the ‘why’ and ‘how.’ I aim to delve into the reasons behind our actions: the incentives and inertia propelling our work. How can we navigate away from detrimental outcomes and amplify the positive impacts of our work? Achieving this necessitates unlearning the irrelevant and harmful, focusing on the pertinent and beneficial, and redefining HOW we work.
What (or who) do I want to teach in the future?
Reflecting on the past year is an opportunity to chart a course for the future. I am committed to following the inertia outlined in the previous paragraph, yet uncertain about its specific destination besides offering what I deem as enduring lessons.
Looking ahead, I aspire to dedicate time to supporting (future) teachers. The OG’s who already teach design, but also the newbies who want to become design teachers, and everyone in between. Yes, I am suggesting that YOU could teach FVS!
As the grandson, son, and nephew of educators, coupled with my two decades of teaching experience, I aim to serve as a cross-disciplinary resource for design educators who often experience more isolation than presumed.
Interested in becoming a FVS teacher?
What do you need from me?
Very much looking forward to a brilliant 2024 with you!