Traditional Skills are being Lost by Designers Relying on Computers

Morgan Bland

Professor Mark Hunt’s article, “Traditional Skills are being Lost by Designers Relying on Computers” (2013), declares the overuse of technology in art schools degrades the quality of artwork in traditionally hands-on areas like woodworking and ceramics. Hunt supports his thesis by asserting new generations of students entering the workforce lacking the necessary skills and patience that come with handmade production, future employers have disdain for computer generated works over handmade ones, and inferior products or work is traced back to TI designs without manual effort. Hunt’s purpose is to illuminate how the cheap substitution of technology in place of hands-on participation in classrooms will adversely affect society in order to force the reader to reduce its use and return to traditional methods. Given that Professor Hunt uses specific terminology without definition he expects a well-read audience who has a great interest in art and design.

I partially agree with Professor Hunt’s position. I believe technology should be viewed as another tool in an artist’s arsenal and not as a replacement for traditional teaching styles. Prior to this project I spent months researching alternative teaching methods for an essay and multiple studies suggest active participation trumps online work when it comes to the quality of education. This seems especially true for artists; many art major friends of mine stress the importance of working with your hands. It builds physical strength, allows you to unleash your creativity any time and anywhere, and gives you a basis for how paints, pencils and other tools or materials work to create a cohesive piece of art. Nevertheless, I do not agree that art created using technology is somehow subpar in general. From what I’ve read the a huge portion of the art community defends digital art because the artist is still putting in same time and effort to create an attractive design no matter the medium used. At this point, I agree that technology doesn’t detract from the quality because it still requires a high level of skill. Professor Hunt does make an interesting claim about employers and universities. Do they really disapprove of digital art? I wonder why they would look down upon a student or employee for using the technology that is so readily available? I have yet to find any source to support this, so I will do some more research.

Hunt, Mark. “Traditional Skills are being Lost by Designers Relying on Computers.” Art and Design. 4 Nov. 2013. Newstatesman. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

Image: KovoWolf


3 thoughts on “Traditional Skills are being Lost by Designers Relying on Computers

  1. I agree that all forms of art are important equally in the education of art students. Of course, they will find their knack and choose a subject area of focus they enjoy the most, but neglecting all art forms would be detrimental to the art world. Forgetting about traditional art and all the techniques founded to get us where we have come today would be foolish, causing danger to the values art can express in the first place. Although it takes a great amount of skill to create quality digital artwork, I believe it is something that can be learned by a lot more people than the skills of simply painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.


  2. I believe that certain forms of art are more effected by this transition to technology than other forms. For example, someone who works with designing clothes may benefit more from hands-on practice rather than technological reliance. However, other artists, such as those who design pictures, may not be negatively influenced. Instead of portraying virtual tools as a damaging crutch, it is possible that technology may have an ingrained usefulness in the growing field.


  3. While my education in the arts was only strictly in the traditional sense, I feel that work produced digitally take as much of if not more skill to produce. I think that education in both mediums is imperative for students in this field. Being able to decide based on your preference and how you feel about the tools you use is what makes you the artist that you have the potential to become.There are artists whose work is highly benefited from technology; cinematographers, photographers, etc. and those whom technology would have minimal impact; painters, sculptors, etc. Part of being an artist is knowing what would work best for your art form.


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