I thought I should let you know of some disappointing news released by AFTRS executive this week. In 2009 there will be no intake of Production Design applicants & no design courses will run.
The reason behind this disturbing news is that the department only received four suitable applications for the 2009 intake. In previous years this was the maximum number of students accepted for the course, this year however the minimum number was raised to 6.
The executive has provided no other options for trying to maintain the eligible candidates, nor have they provided any other strategy to either absorb design courses into other disciplines or offer any design short courses in either New South Wales or other states.
The school has no plans to address the issue of the ongoing teaching of design &/or the integration of design into student learning & productions.
As you know the Design department has been an integral part of AFTRS for many years with our graduates winning awards & going on to make a mark within the Australian screen industries.
A 2007 Production Design graduate has just been awarded the AFI Award for Outstanding Achievement in Short Film Screen Craft for her work on ‘four’.
I am concerned that not running the Production/Costume Design award next year may be the first stage of a national training institute for the screen industries WITHOUT a design strand-FOREVER!
If you share my concerns for the future of integration of design thinking and process into screen pedagogy then I urge you to act.
-most probably won’t assist my personal predicament but may help the bigger cause of putting screen design courses back on the agenda.
Thank you for your time. Please don’t hesitate to e-mail or call me if you wish to discuss the matter further.
Jon Rohde (former Head of Design)
Production design dilemma, AFTRS disappointed too