It’s no secret I spent 3 years studying Design at Concordia University and ended up with a Bachelor’s Degree in that field. Some will say that education played a big part in shaping them into the professional they are today while others claim that they learned the essential by themselves. If I had to pick a side, I’d lean towards the latter, though I’d have to admit I did learn a few tricks in university that probably would have taken me more time to achieve alone by myself.
What disappointed me the most about higher education were the teachers. Although several were knowledgeable, only a few actual knew how to share their knowledge with the students without being condescending. After all, university is a place where you are supposed to learn and study, experience new things and make mistakes, is it not? I was disappointed when I found out that many teachers condemned artistic experiments that did not agree with their own vision of the field and that being honest would usually end up in lower grades. I’m no full-time activist and I don’t think design is the discipline that will revolutionize this world against harsh capitalism and consumerism (I consider myself realistic). Alas, not sharing those ideas means several teachers will dismiss your work, whether it’s good or not.
Fortunately, not all teachers were bad. There are those who were not only knowledgeable but also wise and who motivated their students to learn more. I would like to briefly introduce two teachers who inspired me to become the designer I am today and who made Concordia University worthwhile: Santo Romano and Pata Macedo.
Santo Romano teaches Language of the Web and 3D Digital Concepts/Multimedia at Concordia University. He’s an accomplished web designer and educator. Santo is very passionate and you’ll never get bored of hearing him speak about activism. He’s young at heart (what else to expect from a teacher who once was the lead singer of a band? Space: the final frontier…), inspiring and always up to date with recent technologies. Not one bit arrogant, he’s also the most understanding teacher I’ve met.
Although I must admit I did not follow any of his in-class tutorials, being already proficient in web, he introduced hundreds of other students to web design and programming. As for me, he introduced me to web activism and how much of a powerful tool it can be. So, thank you Santo, from myself and all the students you inspired.
Patricia (Pata) Macedo is a graphic designer and educator at Concordia University who teaches 2D Digital Concepts and Primary Digital Graphics. She’s one of the only teachers who will actually teach you how to do the things and who’ll get involved into student activities. Pata, unlike some other educators, isn’t looking for praise and popularity; she merely wants to help her students improve by teaching them what she knows. Great with print and typography, she has a tip or two for almost everything you ask her. She’s also kind and fair. She works as a freelancer on the side for museums, independent artists and non-for-profit art organizations.
Thank you Pata, from myself and all the students you inspired, for taking time to help us and truly teach us.