ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY
Phil Hamlett is the Director of the School of Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, the largest private art and design school in the country. As a former AIGA national board member, founder of Compostmodern, and co-author of the Living Principles for Design, he sets the agenda for sustainable business practice within the design community. Phil recently completed his term as president of the AIGA San Francisco chapter, for which he continues to serve ex officio.
HOW AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MAKE EDUCATION A MEANINGFUL PART OF YOUR CAREER?
Teaching has been part of my professional life for some time – but I often describe myself as the accidental educator, having only become a full-time educator relatively late in life. In 2004, my colleague and predecessor Mary Scott invited me to take over the nascent graduate program at the Academy of Art University. As it turns out, this is where I belonged all along.
IS THERE A SPECIAL CHALLENGE TO EDUCATING STUDENTS IN 2017 IN LIGHT OF TODAY’S POLITICS OR ECONOMICS OR TECHNOLOGY OR CULTURE OF THIS MOMENT?
Design education abounds with both challenges and opportunities. Integral in both of these is determining how much curriculum is devoted to new technologies and forms versus teaching bedrock design skills that are readily transferable to any situation or medium (if you have this completely figured out, please feel free to contact me).