Classroom Rules for Young Designers by Frank Chimero

This, plus a schedule, forms the totality of my syllabus this term.

  1. Give it your best. Work hard. Be respectful. Show up on time. Be physically & mentally present. Anything less than your best is a waste of your time, mine, and that of your classmates.
  2. Show the work every day. Tight feedback loops allow for an iterative process. More turns and revisions produce better, more refined work. Missing class, and thus discussion, dramatically decreases the quality of your work. If you are absent, you will be lapped by your peers.
  3. Question everything, propose answers. Everything is an investigation. There are no nevers. Valued phrases: “Maybe if…” and “I’m not sure, but…”
  4. Momentum matters. Creativity is equal parts momentum, insight, and craft. We will move fast to build stamina. Art is long, life is short.
  5. Don’t wait for permission. Go off and try it.
  6. Every classroom is a lab. Investigate. Experiment. Report back to your peers.
  7. Assignments are incomplete until one is competent. If it’s not good enough, change it. If you don’t understand the premise fully, redo it. Failing and moving on isn’t an option because every bit is important.
  8. Grades are a false metric. Numbers assigned to a communicative endeavor like design is only done based on the needs of the university. You should care about your grade only insofar as it helps you maintain momentum in your creative pursuit.
  9. Getting better. The point of all education is to get better. Better designers. Better citizens. Better workers. Better thinkers. Better people. Any other objectives are false and superfluous.
  10. Rules are stupid. Be smart. Be respectful. Work hard. Reflect often. Strive for insight. Work to get better.



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