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By Danielle Arets

In a future that is more and more encrypted, we have to question if designers should learn to code. And if so, how are they collaborating with the technical domain? Koert van Mensvoort, ambassador of DDW, kicks off this session questioning how many people in the audience have ever put an encryption filter on their email. Only a few people respond. “There is some work to be done here”, stresses Van Mensvoort.

Moti, the museum of the image in Breda, initiated last year the Crypto Design Challenge “to stimulate designers and artist to look into this domain,” mentions director Mieke. “It should be educated more on design and art schools.”

Thomas Widdershoven, director of Design Academy Eindhoven, stresses that coding should already start much earlier, preferably at primary schools. At the Design Academy the coding language is part of the educational programme but it is considered as a tool, amongst other tools, to work with.

Vivian van Gaal, responsible of the educational programmes at MU, very much agrees that coding should be teached earlier. She developed last 2 years an educational programme with a.o. Jarl Schulp on coding that is now slowly picked up by primary schools.

“We however not only have to learn to code, but also how to read digital culture”, mentions Tijmen Schep of SETUP. Learning the language is not enough, you have to learn how to communicate with it and where the language is most effective.  Or as Tijmen phrases it:“We not only should look at the nerdy side.”

That word agitates someone in the audience. “Can we please not use that word anymore.” Tijmen mentions that he considers himself as a nerd, but that might just be part of the problem according to the guy in the audience who mentions that coding should become more popular.”

Caroline Neverjan (TU Delft) would also love to see that designers operate more in the coding domain. “Not enough designers are engaged in the technology nor in the ethical and esthetical aspects around it. We have to discuss these matters; it’s fundamental to our democracy. We can’t outsource important codes to a few specialist, everyone should at least master the basics of it.”

During the evening two Design Academy students have managed to break into the Google search of a few IP addresses of the audience and copied their Google search in an image slideshow. That of course shocks some people in the audience. “If we can learn to this in two days…can you imagine what the real experts can do”, mention the students. Let that be a warning….

Published: 23-Oct-2015 10:00
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