I wrote this back in October of 2015, but never published it. A lot has changed in the months since then, yet many things remain the same.
I have been in grad school for over a month now. I'm in the Products of Design program at the School of Visual Arts. If you aren't sure what "Products of Design" is, that's ok, because the title is confusing on purpose. (Wait, what?) The program covers more territory than a traditional industrial or product design program, so there are opportunities to look at 'big picture' or global issues. Right now I'm working on a project related to quarantine. It's a really interesting space to work in. I'll share more on that later.
If I were to summarize my five weeks of grad school in five adjectives, I would choose: fun, engaging, crazy, productive, and cosy. The workload is crazy but engaging, and has made me more productive than I've ever been in my life.
Cosy refers specifically to the pair of slippers I bought to wear in the studio. I found that slippers very quickly became a necessity since I, along with 80% of my year, unofficially live in the studio.
I do miss my gap year sometimes. What I miss is going to dance regularly, and having home-cooked meals be the norm instead of the exception. But being a part of this program has been one of the best decisions of my life.
What I Dislike the Most
There's not much I dislike. But to be blunt, I am not a fan of the schedule/workload. I've probably told half a dozen people "This program would be perfect if we had half the amount of work each week." Today I got home early; I was in studio from around 10 am to 8:30 pm. A more typical day is 9:30 am to 11:00 pm. I've also been putting in at least 8 hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Like I said, slippers are a a necessity.
It's not as bad as it sounds. The work itself is engaging and typically thought provoking, and the studio space is pretty amazing. There's a fantastic kitchen in the studio, and equally important, the location is very close to a great number of fast food restaurants.
But one of the real perks is that Home Depot and Michael's are only a block or two away. If you're ever looking for schools that require a lot of making, I highly recommend finding one situated near a hardware store and a craft supply store.
Courses, Instruction, Studio Space, Facilities, Culture 10/10
Deductions and Bonuses
(Workload Penalty -1)
(Home Depot and Michaels Bonus +.2)
Overall Program Rating 9.2/10