I recently accompanied my father on a trip to Savannah, GA to speak to the students and faculty at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). This was the debut of the “Joe + Joseph Show” and the first time I personally presented to an audience about design beyond college assignments back in the day. The idea was to share both the perspective of a leader in the design field and founder of a design shop as well as one from someone who designs in a shop and much closer to the situation of a student.
We arrived in Savannah around noon on Thursday and had a very brief drive through the city. This being my first time in Savannah, I was immediately in awe. The architecture, unique tight town layout filled with numerous park squares and of course the trees. The trees will forever stick out in my mind. It is absolutely unlike anywhere else I have been and truly remarkable. Enormous oak trees draped with Spanish Moss creating a canopy over the city that no doubt play perfectly to all the famous ghost stories.
Another thing I thought was remarkable is that SCAD is Savannah. Literally. The campus spans the entire city. There are 60 some school buildings scattered throughout town and each unique for a variety of reasons. It was unfortunate that we didn’t have more time to see them all.
Right off the airplane we were pretty much thrown into action. After all, we had a job to do and the SCAD wanted to take advantage of the opportunity for us to help motivate their students and give them a sense of what we are looking for in young designers at a shop like D&P.
We visited 3 classrooms of students in the 2 days and had the opportunity to share our thoughts and advice in an intimate/relaxed setting and fielded questions from those close to graduation as well as first and second year students who no doubt were wondering if this was indeed the right profession for them.
Wow. Once again we were amazed at the beautiful Savannah architecture. The Lucas Theater, owned by the college is spectacular. A beautifully restored theater that hosts lectures, concerts, movies, and various other events. It was also big and slightly intimidating for a newbie such as myself.
We presented for roughly an hour and focused on the increasing importance of design in today’s culture and how everyone can now afford and demands good design. We also took the audience through a few case studies that focused on our process as well as some real world challenges we faced along the way. Then we took them through a range of work that we have done over the past 3 years to show the variety of clients and how design is not just a logo or a package.
We finished the presentation fielding questions from the students. And even though it looked like we were not going to get a single question, once the seal was broken, they came one after another.
The most rewarding part of this experience for me personally, was having numerous students and faculty go out of their way to thank us and tell us that it was truly inspiring. One student in particular said she was not sure if design was really what she wanted to do because she thought it was all about packaging only. She didn’t realize that there is so much more to it and was very excited that she did indeed pick the right major.
It was a great trip. The only regret is that we didn’t have more time. I’d like to thank SCAD for a wonderful experience and to the faculty for setting this up as well as taking us to an amazing dinner at the Sapphire Grill that evening. That was a real treat!