2.6.05

Tell this to Donald Trump

Yesterday, a colleague circulated an article from Harvard Business Review "Breakthrough Ideas for 2004". One of those ideas is headlined "The MFA is the new MBA".

The source, American Dan Pink, claims that as only 3% of applicants are accepted into the Chicago Art Institute or UCLA's postgraduate Fine Arts Programme, versus Harvard Business School's 10%, MFAs are far more valuable to have than MBAs. This is evidenced by the fact that American employers are on the lookout for MFA grads (while MBAs in America lose their jobs to $800-a-month MBAs in India). He reasons that with an increasingly crowded marketplace, products & commercial offerings must now be "transcendent - physically beautiful and emotionally compelling". As such, MFA graduates are useful people to have around to bring this about for companies.

Study Hard small

Of course, for a moment, those of us who are working on the Arts School project were determined to flash this piece of Harvard-endorsed scholarship in the faces of parents who worry that their 13 year olds will end up unemployed if they have an arts education, instead of something more "academic" or "entreprenuerial". But only for a moment lah.

However much I think art is important (and spending 3 years in a MFA programme would be a very sweet dream), I don't think I can ever subscribe to the ideas of someone who describes the iMac and General Motor's latest car design as transcendent. My iBook's great to use, but the day it transcends its material and functional reality to be emotionally compelling, its owner most likely would have just received her MFA from the Harvard Business School ;P

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