Applying to ACCD and CCS


I in third year of my undergraduate at University of Toronto and when i graduate i plan on going into another undergrad for product or transportation design at either ACCD or CCS.

I just wanted some pointers from people who have been admitted or graduated from either of those institutions about their portfollios. As of now mine consists of only a paintings and life drawings so any kind of advice would do.

I have checked the requirments for both of them and they require some design concepts and was also wondering if anyone can give me some pointers on those as well

Thanks ahead of time

what interests you about design?
what kinds of things would you like to work on specifically?

when i applied to ccs (in the late 90’s) i only had some graphic design, painting, printmaking and life drawing stuff…no industrial design/car design stuff whatsoever, and they LOVED it. maybe that’s not applicable now if they are specifically asking for some design content, but if you put that kind of stuff in, i’d still go light on it, in the end they want to see your range of talent. lots of design sketches isn’t going to accomplish that.

Design was intersting for me because i have always been fasinated with why things look they way they do. I like seeing sketches and concept designs of stuff more so that seeing that actual product so i thought product design would be a perfect for me. I guess basically what I want to say is that sketches and concepts are just fun to look and think about for me.

I’m mostly interested in designing basically anything electronic like remotes, cellphones, laptops, mouses etc. so i do plenty of 1 min sketches of those but i have always been fascinated with car concepts and designs so i guess i would first have to figure out which interest me more.

Out of curiosity, is it possible that I switch programs if one or the other was not what i was looking for? Or is that not recommended.

Thanks for the replies

I can only speak of ACCD. The portfolio standard for art center are very high, and many students have taken preparatory classes ranging fro communication sketch to product design up to a year before sending their portfolios. There are 3 things you need to achieve IMO (from less important to more important): 1/ Drawing skills are important as you can imagine, so showing good skills and a good sense of composition is a good start. 2/ Ideas and quick sketches, Art Center loves to see ideas and your thought process coming up with those ideas, showing good conceptualization skill is probably more important than your drawing skills. 3/ Last, you applications will ask you quite a few questions about your goals, and this is your chance to show your maturity, don’t forget that the average age at art center is “older”, and there is a reason for it. Saying you are interesting to design “anything electronic” is a no-no and NO! You need to show you have a vision, that is global and bigger than designing a remote control or a phone, this isn’t what art center is about. art center is about rethinking the world and it’s many facets… If you want to design phones, then start thinking about what a phone means, what communication could be, what and why will the trends of the future be, and rather that designing a product, design a new concept of what “remote” comunication could be, etc… It’s going to be a bit more that a portfolio and a few pretty drawings… Good Luck.

Thanks a bunch for the advice

I began to do a daily sketchbook, kind of thing where i will spend upward to 2 hours in my sketchbook in between classes and work which improve my drawing ability and develop some ideas which I can use in my application.

I am just curious what you mean by an “older” age avg. because I will be 21-22 by the time I apply to these schools as a second degree and I thought I would be older than the rest of my peers. And also about these preparatory classes, do they provide them as well at ACCD or CCS? Or are they at different places?

Again thanks for all the advice

I believe the average age for undergrad at Art Center is 24.

ACCD has a continuing education program at night, and some of the classes can be applied towards credits once admitted.

Also nearby, Pasadena City College has a product design certificate program. Many of the professors also teach at ACCD or are alumni. Especially for ID, most of the students attend specifically to transfer to ACCD. I’ve been impressed by the quality of education I’ve received here. Especially for the price, PCC is the way to go. Art Center at night is about $700-$800 per class vs. $20/unit if you’re a CA resident. I believe some units can also be transferred due to the way PCC has tailored their program as a prep course for ACCD.