How do I Choose my Best Car Design School?
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
How to choose the right Design School.
This is the time everybody is searching for a good Design school to attend next academic year. In Transportation Design , in some ways, it is easier to choose because there are less schools. At the same time all these schools are in competition with each others and offer similar programs, similar methods and similar contacts.
Now the question is: how do I choose my TransportationDesignSchool?
There are some Design schools that are very famous in this discipline like: In USA Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CCS in Detroit. In Europe we could name Pforzheim Schule in Germany, or State College in ParisFrance, or IAAD and IED in TurinItaly, or UMEAUniversity in Sweden, or MAMI International in MoscowRussia. In Asia TCA Tokyo in Japan and so on.
Now lets’ be careful because all these schools have “similarities” but also “differences” and sometime those differences are important.
The main element to make your choice is: school reputation.
There are about 3 school categories:
- the best schools
- the good schools
- the show-off schools
The best schools
When we talk about “the best Design schools” we talk about: history, professional background, glorious past and present, great organization, great teaching staff, major automotive companies sponsoring projects, internship program, hard entry portfolio selection, great computer labs, full model shop including paint room, placement office for alumni, foreign office organization, housing students office, media communication office for school publicity and relations. The best schools offer a Bachelor and a Master program. I could continue on my list, but this is enough. Few examples are: Art Center College of Design Pasadena CA and CCS in Detroit.
The good schools
The good schools are those, even if they do not have a super organization, capable to produce good students who find a real design job once they are out of school. Those design schools in general have good facilities, their model shop is small therefore ok for clay modeling without painting, they have a hard entry portfolio selection, they have good teaching staff (the best are the schools near car design centers). Those schools also offer automotive design sponsored projects and internship programs, their cost is less important than “the best schools”, however they offer a recognized “diploma” or “bachelor” in Transportation Design such as Master programs.
India Design schools
Since I wrote this Hub on Design schools few things evolved...today (Feb 2013) I would like to add in this "good schools" session also DYDPC design school in India run and owned by Dilip Chhabria (ex Art Center Design College). Another good design school in India is also ISD Istitute Superieur de Design it is a French school that has a branch in India. Last design school with good reputation is DSKISD an Industrial Design school with a very good Transportation Design Dept and lets not forget NID excellent for Industrial Design and not only...
The show-off schools
During last 10 years some academic istitutions understood that Car Design could be a real business to make money and lots of communication on media. Those are the schools I call “the show-off “. Lets analyse together some details.
In general those schools “do not ask for an entry portfolio selection” or they do, but accept everybody anyway. Often they have 2 starting classes with a total of 40/60 starting students, this is too much because the school cannot assure the quality of teaching needed for a transportation design course. In car design the teacher has to work next to the student, if the teacher has 15/20 students he/she can do it. If he/she has 25/30 students , it is more difficult. What type of sponsored projects they offer? Who is sponsoring in those schools? How many students arrive at the diploma? All 40? How many real talents out of 40? How many found a job out of 40 in car design after school?
In general those schools have a great headquarter full of Design gadgets and architecture, they have good staff that knows well the “bla bla bla” to tell, very often they are expensive if compared to the best schools. In general, in their communication, they often say they offer the “best program ever”. Remember those questions:
Why do they not have an entry portfolio hard talent selection? What type of sponsored projects they offer? Who is sponsoring in those schools? How many students arrive at the diploma, all 40? How many real talents out of 40? How many found a job out of 40 in car design centers after school?
You do not have to follow one of the “best design schools” to be a respected car designer, you must make the good choice between all the available design schools in today’s panorama.
Important things not to forget to orientate your choice:
- the entry portfolio selection is extremely important because it assures you a quality environment. It is much better a competitive ambience than an easy one.
- Facilities organization in terms of: computer labs, technology, model shops. Very important to assure you the quality of your projects and models.
- Sponsors and internship programs, very important to prepare yourself to start approaching the real world and find a design job.
- The type of “diploma” or “bachelor” recognized in US and Europe (EU). It has to be also recognized by major car companies. This aspect is very important to assure you a good evolution in career. It is important to be compatible with most professional designer contracts for a career evolution.
- How much to spend for my instruction? Lets’ put it this way: as long as it is for our future and we work our ass of for it… it is to be considered like an investment that will be repaid back…as long as we have talent and we work our ass off!
IAAD Turin, Italy
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