Teaching Design Management in school


Few days ago I wrote a post on my blog about What Design Schools are Missing (for me). In a few words I know that some design schools are reviewing their design courses programs to make them better and more adapted to our times.

My opinion is that Design Schools are missing a good series of lectures about Design Management! My opinion became so beause of all students' questions when I visit design schools, their questions show clearly that they do not understand how is a real Design Process and how could be a designer career.

The actual finacial crisis showed that to find a job is a harder task than before and that one of solutions to improve our chances to work is the type of training or specialization we get when still in school. Design in general and Car Design are fields havily involved with practice and training. Today Design Process is much shorter than few years ago, this means that all people have to perform in shorter working periods to produce the same quality, this means highly specialized people!

Design Management
Design Management | Source
Project Innovation through Design Thinking
Project Innovation through Design Thinking | Source

My Blog post was published on Linkedin News and I was surpised by positive comments I received, those comments basically agreed with my position and gave several interesting suggestions to focus correctly objectifs and targets of an eventual Design Management course.

Internships and stages are not for everybody and not enough to give you the right idea (even if they are extremely important). The ability of sketching and modeling like students do is great and fundamental to learn and prepare a convincing book or portfolio, however a good understanding of design management and designer career steps would complete very well any type of Design education course.

Graduate program in Trasportation Design
Graduate program in Trasportation Design | Source

ACCD new Graduate Design program

Few days ago I was chatting with two great friends of mine Geoff Wardle (executive Director at ACCD for the new Graduate Program) and Lucian Roska ( Chair and teacher at ACCD Graduate Program for Transportation).

The interesting thing is that our subject was how to help young designers to be ready to manage projects and special projects in transportation companies and R&D design studios. In other words I was mentioning that today design studios are changing and looking also for good designers that are able quickly to be managers of themself and ready to manage projects on a larger scale. The way companies prepare their future is changing and the financial crisis is accellerating this process.

ACCD with its new Graduate Program seems to have taken this matter very seriously, I believe that the school has all sort of talented teachers and staff to organize a very good course ...the point is : find the right way to teach how to use our talent and creativity within a team!

This team wiill be made of engineers, marketing people, designers, product planning people and so on...this is the real challange.


FHS design management course

The FHS design school in Salzburg Austria offers a Design course including a Design Management program.

It is probably one of schools that has a speciphic course about Management, I visited the school and found it very good. Great environment and a very good program, school facilities of very high level including all sort of Labs from modeling to prorotyping.

In the FHS school there is also a small R&D Departement to study new materials issue of wood, a sort of chemical researchers making experiments on wood to create new type of composite materials deposing also patent designs for that.

Here the link: FHS Salzburg, Austria

Design Management notions are important to teach students the other part of a designer job role, the one less artistic but still creative.

Design Management is about how to put all knowledge together in order to get a good product, it is about Strategy and politics.

It is about a certain type of activities that would be better explane to students before they discover it during their working life activities.

© 2012 Luciano Bove

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Comments 4 comments

Emanuele 4 years ago

Ciao Luciano,

I completely agree with your opinion.

The problem is that design schools (many of them anyway)take care of this matter only theoretically.

Practically they do not focus on it properly: right hours and, above all, the right lecturers; I mean, professionals that have the right design management experience to very close to the reality.

I'm trying to do that in my collaboration with DYPDC in India but, believe me, it is very hard.

I am at your full disposal if you might need a "supporter".


Emanuele Nicosia

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luciano63 4 years ago from Paris Author

Ciao Emanuele che piace risentirti! We should organize a workshop in DYPDC about it! Happy to do it with you!

hamid79 profile image

hamid79 4 years ago from Bloemfontein South Africa

Ciao Professor

Well all I can say I have no idea how much of design institution differ in their orientation in car design from source to the other myself I prefer more practicality than theoretical orientations so about the internships hows one qualify for that? thanks for the advice and an eye opener! i'm clueless to all of this

Abdel Hamid

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luciano63 4 years ago from Paris Author

Dear Abdel, to have an internship (most cases) you must be in design school. You have to be a regular design student, prepare a mini portfolio and contact the company or companies you would like to meet asking for internship position. Generaly design schools have contacts with industry, so they know how to help students to find an internship.

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