Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ADS Design School, Saigon - Rubbish?

Welcome ADS. Probably the first real Advertising and Design school in Vietnam. And thank them for asking me to help.

As I understand, ADS found me from LinkedIn and approached me to be their Program Director, based on my professional background and award winning history.


What matters most? Can I teach their students to think? In the end my personal background and experience won't mean a thing if I can't instill questioning, critical thinking and an extreme aversion to all things tried and true and lacking in originality. What matters most about my background is not the companies I worked for, but the work I did at those companies compared to the standard product they were turning out. And in the end, a school promising to make a difference and bring an international standard to design and advertising education in Vietnam won't mean a thing unless they can turn out graduates who can compete on an international level and challenge the status quo. And in this country, that's a tall order. Being different or original is not valued half as much as being the same or being wealthy. Can the values of creativity and originality really be taught over the prevailing values that money and status conquer all? And did the school buy my name and international history as a logo on a polo shirt or did they buy a concept that an international education is broader, more liberal and more adaptive to change than one steeped in conservative rhetoric? Only time will tell.

Should you have questions about the school either as a student or faculty, please let me know.

I am no longer associated with ADS Design School. Please click here for notice.


  1. your title reads ADS Design School - rubbish. So are they rubbish or the way they found your rubbish?

  2. Good questions Stanley. So I've added a bit to the original post to explain more.

  3. That's a big problem in Vietnam. Hope that people like you can influence positively !

  4. Great video you sent on 'Famous Failures'. But in Vietnam, nobody is allowed to fail. That's why they turn out legions of soulless soldiers. Even the school owners are worried about finding Vietnamese teachers who can think and teach 'out of the box'. When parents pay money, they are buying success. Say the kid's not up to snuff and loose a customer. Let's see how that plays out.


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