Tuesday, April 10

"The MFA Is the New MBA"


de Selby said...

This is old news. But it came up recently and I realized I'd never read the article. It's a little hype piece with a slogan for a title.

Harvard Business Review, "Breakthrough Ideas for 2004," February 2004

de Selby said...

Even though I've heard people use that damned slogan, "the MFA is the new MBA," in a "fine art" context, I think it's worth clarifying that the article never actually specifies WHAT kind of MFA the author is talking about. Um, there are commercial art MFA programs too, no? And the most prestigious ones are at Yale, Cranbrook, and CalArts. (Or at least they were back in the day, before my favorite design magazine, ÉMIGRÉ, closed. I wonder what they would think at one of those prestigious schools if they heard me calling them “commercial art MFA programs”? These are design programs, guy!) So, when Daniel Pink uses the term MFA, I think this is what he’s really talking about, the design MFA program. He is most likely NOT talking about the rarified world of fine art (and this includes you too, Chelsea, commercial dread and all). He doesn’t specify this because it would have clunked up his slogan. Live meme! Live! And, finally, please, let’s try to keep in mind what the real function of Daniel Pink’s article probably was: attracting speaking engagements -- at large corporations.