At EDAC, we have been doing something for so long that we forget how different we are from other schools. Also, we have been doing this thing for a decade even before it became an important topic of conversation in the work world. What is it? We do creative work using technology. Why? Well, primarily because, as a faculty, we started from creative places and then discovered the technological tools that allowed us to expand our work. Recently, we have been noticing more and more business thinkers, scientists, and technologists, mentioning arts and creativity in their discussing, even going so far as to adapt a popular acronym, STEM, with the A for Arts to make STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math).
Why the shift to include creative/arts thinking?
Something we have seen for many years is that we are continually asked by STEM specialists to work on their projects. At first, the work was often in an attempt to make the tech product look less techy and more intuitive, pretty, appealing, professional or some other adjective that serves to enhance the product with its intended audience. This applied not only to creative projects, like video games, but also to database interfaces for governments, UI controls for machinery, and many more areas beyond the typical arts projects.
When we started looking at the program offerings from other schools, we saw two major areas of focus. Either a school was focused on arts-based education with a slight mention of the technologies used in them (graphic design teachers would leave their students to figure out PhotoShop on their own) or a school was focused on technology education with a slight mention of the theory that determines the design choices you make (students would learn PhotoShop, but would have to figure out colour theory, composition, typography, etc. on their own). At EDAC, we made the deliberate choice to integrate both equally in the work our students do because both the tools/tech and the theory are equally vital to finding a successful career.
Why is this creative + tech approach only now becoming more common?
There are all sorts of possible answers to this question, but primarily, we think it has to do with the natural maturation of the workforce. A decade ago, those who were in senior roles on design teams were not trained to use digital tools. So, it made sense to hire a junior who had digital skills and then have them implement the design work you did. Now, this has shifted. The senior designers now have the digital chops to do both the design work and the implementation in digital form. Add to that, the digital tools have become more reliable, easier to use, and easier to learn. Today, if you want to be a junior designer, game designer, illustrator, or animator, you need a healthy mix of both the technologies (the tools) and the theory (the trade) to compete in today’s workplace. EDAC has been using this approach for more than a decade, so we know a bit about what we are doing.
If you are considering the digital media sector as a place you would like to pursue a career, check out our programs. 10 months, mentor-oriented, and a strong balance between technology training and the theoretical foundation for your craft. Learn more about how Your Career Starts Here.