Design Council addresses concerns in public forum

Jacob Stewart

Students voiced their concerns and opinions regarding the restructuring of the College of Design in a public form Tuesday.

College of Design Dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez said Iowa State is going places — especially in the design department. Gutierrez said the purpose of the forum was collaboration. He wanted to make sure that everyone was on board with the idea of using multiple practices to solve real-world problems. 

“When you see your environment changing, you don’t just think, ‘Oh, I’m in the realm of architecture,'” he said. “No, you see every aspect of what surrounds you.”

The audience broke down into eight small groups led by faculty members of the College of Design including Sung Kang, a professor of architecture; David Ringholz, the head of the industrial design department; and Gutierrez. 

Student reaction to the news about the reformatting was evenly negative and positive. Some were thrilled they would be receiving new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate programs, while others thought that it took away from the intimacy they had with their professors and chosen fields.

Kang expressed concern about staffing the new programs. She said she already had around 18 contact hours with students per week, and the installment of these new practices would bump it up to at least 24 hours of meeting with students on a weekly basis.

Other suggestions raised by students included removing digital media as a major, increasing studio time, focusing on building a student’s portfolio instead of rigidly grading work and focusing more on the current quality of education, instead of making 10-year plans for the future.