Chicago greeted us with warm weather on Sunday, and it bid us farewell with summer weather on the last day in the windy city.
The city has numerous wonderful museums, so it was a challenge to decide which ones to visit. We decided to spend some time at the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Because numerous disciplines are represented in the class, students were allowed to choose the exhibitions they wanted to experience. At the Art Institute, the two most popular were “Rethinking Typologies” and The Roy Lichtenstein retrospective. We lingered at the MCA, taking in all the wonderful art, as well as contemporary design of everyday objects.
Friday morning, back in Grand Rapids, we gathered to discuss what we learned, observed, and experienced:
1. Take risks! What you end up doing with your career may not be what you planned.
2. Keep in touch with alumni. There's an organization for every program that is a ready-made network.
3. Make a difference.
4. Suggest change.
5. Quality of life is an economic value.
6. It’s a knowledge economy: People and ideas are the economy of the day.
7. Job satisfaction is important.
8. Offering people an environment in which they can be happy is important.
9. Don’t forget the human experience.
10. Success is not one person; it's a team effort.
11. Look at the 1909 Burnham plan for Chicago still in use. Something done well can be built on today.
12. How do we design for change?
13. Good design is a way of putting something together appropriately for the audience you're trying to reach. That never changes.
14. To make something great, get out from behind the computer and go see what is going on.
15. Bio mimicry is emerging.
16. It doesn't mean anything if you have to explain it
17. The new workspace: Collaboration, technology, and public/private spaces.
18. Generations have different work styles, and different ways of using the furniture.
19. Create an environment you want to be in.
20. Our job as designers is to attract and retain employees and make you do what you want to do.
21. A lot of people have the same ideas; the difference is how it's executed.
22. The idea of being a graphic designer is so much more than it was. Like a snake shedding its skin, it’s grown into so much more.
23. Every discipline evolves.
24. Be hungry, be the early adapter, get out there and get the next, don't settle.
25. Use color to sell the neutrals and vice versa.
26. What kind of impact am I making on the world? Does it matter what I do?
27. We're all storytellers.
28. You don't design for yourself, but you use your intuition.
29. The more your experience, the more intuitive your design.
30. Own your work, own your design.
31. Do your research to inform your intuition.
32. Find inspiration everywhere.
33. Life and death is in the details.
34. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
35. The way you make yourself distinct is by being subtle.
36. Why not work with someone you've never worked with? You'll get the unexpected.
37. Distill everything down to the humanity of it.
38. Who you are is an important as your book is.
39. Design thinking cuts across all mediums.
40. It takes all of you to get it done.
41. As designers we make meaning.