See below a post in response to Peter Nencini's "I, Me, Mine: do we specialise too soon" article on Its Nice That.
"I may be approaching this at a tangent but I had a similar experience to Peter, the 'road to Damascus' moment of clarity when first working in a fast paced and commercial environment. This kind of experience has become a determining factor in the curricular world of Higher education. There is major/confused emphasis on the need to meet the requirement of industry and it is predominant in the Creative Arts [possibly because of inherent course and resource costs/four year as opposed to three year programmes]. Referring to Industry [and its 'needs'] in a bid to better understand the requisite 'skills' in our graduating student body has benefits and disadvantages. It is the driver for a number of initiatives/individual student projects and a new fervour for educational programmes in well established companies [including the new Wieden and Kennedy 'school' for a new breed of advertisers], it is also the reason that so many bespoke courses have emerged in our Universtites over recent years AND more importantly it is having a net effect on the priorities set on the student experience overall. greater emphasis on the acquisition of skill sets [transferable and otherwise] have required greater specificity, greater accountability, more 'box ticking' exercises, an audit culture that is both ambiguous and unneccessarily specific.
Tail wags dog.
In short we need names, its a question of semantics but we need our education to be broad - wide and deep [yes T shaped], we need it to be at times complicated and problematic, at times simple and skills orientated but at all times part of an education not simply a 'training'. We have big brains and opposable thumbs, lets use them wisely!"
In some ways this opens up the discussion around 'discipline' - whether discipline is an appropriate aspiration for a 'thing' like Illustration. The quest to ringfence territory for a subject [particularly in the academic sphere] could be considered counter to the spirit of Illustration. What I mean is that the basis for Illustration [arguable!] is content, ideas, opinions and thoughts from absolutely anywhere. Is it possible to create a framework that is sufficiently all encompassing to discuss the product of Illustration when it's nascence is impossible to locate - nowhere and everywhere?