Max Bizley, the graphic designer of the Dymantic Design duo, shares his recent experience of giving a talk at a University in Taiwan.
I had the exhilarating and honorable experience of giving a presentation to senior design majors at YunTech University (National Yunlin University of Science and Technology/國立雲林科技大學) in Douliu City, Yunlin, Taiwan. For me it was a first but something I had had an itch to do for some time, so leading up to it I felt a unique excitement I had not had in a while (something like the first day of school?), as well as a fair bit of nerves.
Despite its remote location in central Taiwan the university is well-known in Taiwan as being one of the top technological universities on the island, which extends to their design faculty, where I would be headed. The students I spoke to were in their 4th and final year at YunTech studying a Creative Design major which involves a comprehensive study of architecture, industrial engineering and graphic design. I would, of course, be speaking to their graphic design interests.
The presentation went superbly and I am happy to say I had a lot of interested looks and a good amount of head nodding along the way. I was totally impressed with the level of English amongst the students and key points were easily picked up. I did my best to keep the presentation as visual as possible, going all out on fun, graphical slides I spent a fair bit of time putting together to demonstrate my graphic design expertise. This paid off, as students were impressed and interested throughout the talk and had the most wonderful things to say at the end as well as very loud applause. My heart soared.
The speech did not have a very specific topic, like an actual discipline or teaching a skill. It was to give young designers who are about to enter the world of careers and adulthood some insight into how one person (me, strangely) has handled this transition and how I came to have a design studio in Taichung, Taiwan doing graphic and website design along with a business partner. Any wisdom and tricks and tips I could offer along the way would be welcome. The time slot for the talk was 2 hours which I thought was a marathon, but in the end I wished I had another 30 minutes at least.
Topics I covered in the speech included:
- About me - an introduction to who I am and where I’ve come from and the influences I’ve had along the way.
- My Design Path - How I got into design and the formative years of learning the skills and trade
- Dymantic Design - How our business got set up and how we run it and who we do work for
- Logo/Brand Activity - I had a small discussion on logos and brands that I asked the students to come up with
- Skills/Advice - A few of my top knowledge bombs all packaged nicely together. Pure gold.
- Taiwan Case Study - A look at and discussion about some of the design works I admire on a daily basis, as well as those I find hard to look at.
- Quiz and Questions & Answers - A quick quiz to check that they were listening (they were) and a chance for students to ask me any questions which I would answer as best as I could.
Throughout the speech I aimed to make the students aware of the great responsibilities and feats they were going to come up against in the future. Being a designer is no walk in park, as is so often portrayed, and going the self-business route is a massive undertaking and something that should be deeply considered before committing to. I hoped to make them cautious and excited about their decisions at the same time, and hopefully help them to have a better grasp on what their own paths looked like up ahead, something that I wish was presented to me at that age but missed out on. I can truly say I think some of this rubbed off on them, which I’m elated about, and overall they had a unique look into a designer's life. Aside from the many thanks and compliments on the presentation my favourite comment by one student was “I feel like I just watched Ted Talk”, which I felt was testament to a job well done.
What they said:
Max came to Yuntech last week and gave a great speech to my 4th year Creative Design students, the speech was fantastic as it related to the issues of creating a design studio in Taichung and the way of equipping self in facing the reality of competition in design practices. Best wishes LiHsun
Associate Professor, Dept. of Creative Design at YunTech