A W

fashion designer / creative pattern cutter / writer, myself
London, UK

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  • "Hi Rain, as an overarching comment relating to this post and your earlier article on the German school system, let me point out that these Masters/Meistersch├╝ler are not the same as Master graduates (academic MA). They come from a crafts background that wouldn't be considered equivalent to an industrial designer degree. It's not better or worse, just different, less geared towards industrial application, more towards bespoke clients. In the UK, designers who work that way would be called "designer-maker". Craft, design and art schools have very varied profiles in Germany. Some industrial design university degrees have a very strong craft underpinning, especially the art schools, with workshop training to get everyone on the same level. Some of these graduates might choose to have their own enterprise and do bespoke orders, others might go and work in the industry. Generally, in order to get into a good school or a good apprenticeship it helps if you're from a Gymnasium or Realschule background - not all the studios/workshops are of equal quality, though there is a curriculum that guarantees benchmarking in certain aspects. I did Gymnasium, then an apprenticeship (full-length, as my boss made it very clear that she wanted my cheap labour for the maximum duration), then went to art school for 5 years full-time. At Berufsschule (the school you do during your apprenticeship, approx 2 days a week), apprentices from all three German school types (or 4, as Gesamtschule essentially offers a 3-in-1 approach) are taught in the same class. This was mostly tiresome but gave me an afternoon off, and it helped me with basic math skills (which I'd always struggled with, despite Gymnasium). At art school half of my peer group had previous craft training (some in a different area), the other half had none, some had Gymnasium, some "just" a great portfolio to get in. In the end, we all learned from each other, and our background shaped our ideas - the crafts people sometimes being less "free", the non-craft-trained ones sometimes being less confident about the execution of their ideas. In the end, it all balanced out, the academic supported the less academic etc. There are many routes in Germany, and you can progress in different ways and in different orders of sequence. The best thing is that the university system is still largely free, so while it is easier for well-off kids to go to uni (as many things in life will be), it is also manageable for less wealthy kids. Personally, I love the German system, even more so since I've taught in the UK, where students are admitted beyond their capabilities because they represent a paycheck, then dragged through the system for the same reason and finally left to wonder why they still struggle to find work as a sales assistant after getting a degree. Now, what I actually wanted to help you out with ;) - the school titles:Leave out "at" in front of the city names. Schulen f├╝r Holz und Gestaltung Garmisch-Partenkirchen (typo) = Schools for Wood and Design Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Staatliche Fachschule Rosenheim (typo) = Public Vocational School Rosenheim. Municipal Master School for Carpentry Munich.And yes, one of the special features of the German language is the ability to create compound words. For example you could say "rechtschreibungkorrigierender Designblogleser", which means "reader of design blogs who corrects spelling". But then we are known for precision, not our sense of humor ;)"
    on: Here's Some Sweet German Craft/Design Student Work from Holz-Handwerk
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