Car designer education: Universities and Design art Colleges
This week I received an email by an italian young student passionate of Car Design asking me for help. How do I become a car designer? I explaned that first of all he had to show me few drawings just to understand his level of talent before telling him the all process to follow. Few days later I received, by email, some sketches done by him and I found a certain talent! So, according to his motivation, I wrote him back telling him that he was elegible to try for an admission interview at design schools. I explaned to prepare at least 15 drawings on a A3 format, plus his quick sketches and to go visit a short list of italian design schools. The objectif was to chose the right school and start the car design education cursus. In other words to get him in the right process.
I was surprised when I received his email and the reason is the following; he told me that his intention was to go to Engineering University in Italy and after 5 or 6 years with his bachelor go to follow a Master in Transportation Design in Italy and then try to work in the Car Design business. (at the age of 26/27 years old limit for designers hirings).
Now when I read his answear I undrstood that this guy was still following the old italian mentality to get "first" a bachelor from University and "after" try an artistic school...
I wrote right away back to him and told him that he was going off track! Today's Design schools around the world are highly professional institutions in which we learn a profession, in car design as well as in Industrial Design it is imperatif to be in one of those renomated Design schools. The scheme University and later specialization school is a high risk choice because it does not give any deeper knowledge of your field.
If I follow Engineering University I learn about mechanical Engineering and I will be formed for 5 years as an Engineer.
If I follow Design specialized schools, like Art Center College of Design in Pasadena or IAAD in Turin Italy, I learn for 5 years how to be a car designer learning to sketch, render,model,computer,Photoshop,Illustrator,Preentations,Portfolios, sponsored projects, Internship programs.
It is obvious to me that we cannot compare in the sense that if I want to become a car designer I must follow a specialized Design school! Another fact that shows the effectivness of following a real Design school is this one: statisticly how many car designers are from Design schools and how many from Universities? Now I do not know the answear, but I can tell you my perception about my 20 years experience in this business as designer and Design educator. In my professional time period until today I met 5 very good designers coming from Universities 4 from Engineering and 1 from Architecture. All the others come from Design schools like myself.
I hope that for mentality reasons people will not make the classical mistake of going to University because it is only there I can get my culture and professional training. I hope that parents go visit Design schools to understand why the methods and results are different from Universities. It is important that parents understand well what it means to be a designer and why it is needed a certain type of training.
Universities are excellent to form in their respective fields, however we cannot pretend that from Engineering we switch to Design and in 2 years of Master program we are designers! Sorry ,this is not possible.
© 2010 Luciano Bove
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