The beginning of the school year is a magical time. Nine months brimming with the promise of creative productivity lie before you: is there anything you can’t do? This will certainly be a year full of studio epiphanies, happy collaborations and eye-opening lectures. But it’s hardly ever so simple. There always comes a point when things get a bit more complicated than you expected (sorry), when assignments have piled up so far you can’t see straight and the muses aren’t quite by your side. To help you navigate the often unwieldy transitions between the good days, the bad days and everything in between, we’ve compiled some of our best pieces of advice, culled over the years from people who have been there, done that.
Allan Chochinov walks you through everything you need to know about design school. His refreshing nuggets of wisdom reinforce habits that pertain to graduates as well. A key takeaway: Your teachers work for you, so make sure you know what you want and need and are taking steps to communicate those things.
Why is documenting your work the single most important thing you can do? What constitutes the elusive, perfect pen? How can you help your budget by building dorm room furniture out of cardboard boxes? This guide to hacking all areas of your school life will answer everything you want to know—even how to innocently prank your teacher.
A 138-post thread pooling our reader’s 20-20 hindsight. One poster refers to it as a “gift” for incoming students, so read up and maybe you won’t have to say “If…” when the time comes.
Steven Portigal shows you how to hone your design research skills and get out into the field to uncover new needs and prepare relevant solutions. While you’re at it, check out this post too, on how to get better at noticing things and telling stories.
Designers are inherently visual thinkers and having a good understanding of the benefits of taking sketchnotes and adding them to your arsenal may prove vital to your work!
As always, we encourage you to explore the wide variety of design resources we’ve amassed via our Core77 Design Awards program, the Coroflot portfolio site, our Design.edu channel and the recently launched Projects page. If you’re looking for an idea or possibly just a way to make your procrastination more productive, these pages are here to inspire you.