4 questions

  1. Im 43, have worked in the shop as a fabricator, stylist and model maker off and on for 20+ years but I want to go to design school… will I be to old to be relevant?

  2. If I’m not to old, any suggestions how I should get started?

  3. Is design school my only/best choice or are there apprenticeship/alternative opportunities?

  4. Its taken me a while to realize but if I had to spend the rest of my life doing one thing it would be designing. I believe I am naturally intuitive to the design process. Is that a legitimate reason to enter the field?

er…start a design service company of your own…? and use your styling & fabrication experience…

actually there’s a few reasons why i “suggest” that…at your age & experience level, i don’t really think it’s worth your time to start all over again…also, your experience may tend to pose a threat to the “openness” that is required. so instead of contemplating whether to go to a design school or not, i reckon you’d rather work on the contacts you would’ve built up over the years & work on design projects for them…that way you get to be your own designer!

dude i am 10 years older and you will be looked at as a fossile, however re tool yourself as a problem solver, most of the kids are functionly clueless on how to build something in real life. The other thing you might look at is just good old custom fab, look at the custom car and bike folk, top $$ because they CAN BUILD not just render. pm me if you like, will give you the skinny.

o.k. Zippy, now I know how old you really are. :open_mouth:
good advice though.

No

Yes

Maybe

Terrific

Does that about sum it up?

I don’t think anyone is too old for education. It may not be the best path for you, because you may already know much of what they are teaching. This might lead you to fall into the “I already know all this, what do these kids have to teach me” syndrome. Have you tried applying to some firms? If you have and feel that you are being turned down because of your skills, be careful, it really is bad timing this year. I know a lot of firms that are getting smaller not larger.

older than my years, its not the time its the milage…

are you a modelmaker in an ID consultancy?
if not, get into one and start picking up the drawing + software skills on evenings and weekends - cultivate a mentor, even a kid. Build a portfolio over a year or two, and apply to some schools - or - start out on your own freelancing.

easier said than done, I know.

dangit!!! I was kinda hoping for a consensus.

Most recently I was Head of Advanced Composites & Head of Interior Fabrication for a concept vehicle studio. I started in the Model shop at Powers Design in Newport Beach Ca…anybody remember them. Worked at Design West, Prototype Concepts, Sonos, etc…all over Orange County and LA, Ca. Even did a small stint at Art Center, but the 3 kids and mortagage (all moved on now) made it to difficult. Im a free man and really want to do what Ive wanted to do for the last 25 years. To be honest, I want the college experience as much as the design degree.

then do it, show them kiddies that snow on the roof dont mean no fire in the stove…

ok, Your experiences will go along way towards admission, offer to teach in the schools’ model making classes (if you think you’ll have the time).
you’ll still need the portfolio though, where do you think you want to get the final degree from?