By Mentally Friendly
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Charbel Zeaiter & Ben Wong

Academy XI

We talk about technology serving us, the future of design education, businesses adapting to change, and more.

 
 

Headed up by Ben (CEO) and Charbel (Chief Experience Officer, Academy Xi provides short, practical and skill specific courses for people or companies to upgrade their capabilities in design and innovation. 

Of particular interest to us was their experience in virtual reality and emerging technologies.

 
 

TECHNOLOGY SHOULD SERVE US, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND

We’ve complicated our lives, and through the complication we need ways to deal with complication.

Email’s a classic. Email was supposed to be for quick communications, and now it’s become the bane of pretty much everybody’s existence.

I cry almost every morning when I look at my inbox.
— Charbel
 
 

ON DESIGNERS BEING READY FOR CHANGE

We need placeholders, markers, so we can navigate back and forth. We’ve done that with the GUI, the graphical user interface. We’ve always needed clues.

Good design is about getting someone to do something successfully. Even with this concept of no interface we, still need guidance.
— Charbel
 

ON COMPANIES BEING READY FOR CHANGE

A lot of companies who are taking action are the companies that are further away from technology ... because they are more scared - the crisis point has hit earlier.

They are taking action now, as opposed to companies that are more comfortable: [they think] ‘okay we’re an innovative company - we’ve got this’
— Ben
 

ON EDUCATION PREPARING US FOR THE FUTURE

Education systems and infrastructure is just too slow. Technology is moving so fast [that] the skills we’re learning from school, from university, [and] from further education, are long winded, time consuming.

They’re expensive, and most likely what was relevant has changed.
— Ben
 

ON HOW CAN EDUCATION ADAPT?

Let’s teach people skills they need, as opposed to what we think they should learn. Become a lawyer, become an accountant... well those are being replaced by technology as we speak