Keifer, when are you going to learn that you’re generalizing everything in hopes of forming an answer, without doing any of your own leg work.
Design education is constantly evolving. Projects that were done by one graduating class probably won’t be done by the next graduating class. Our school proejcts were based on competitons that were running at the time, professors that were there at the time (professors getting switch around or going on research leave for a semester is very common).
I went to Virginia Tech and I can tell you right off the bat I designed furniture and a housewares project. I also made scupltures, designed computers, designed cars, designed robots, designed paper boxes, designed packaging, designed user interfaces, designed services, designed exhibits and even a few toys now and again.
I have classmates and friends who’ve designed trains, medical equipment, boats, houses, shoes, school curriculum, clothing, soap bottles, etc.
Does that crush your preconcieved notions of finding out that Virginia Tech is a strict engineering school where everyone designs 4 years of power drills, cable boxes, and VCRs?
Design education teaches a process. A process of understanding users, researching problems, solving those problems and commuicating them in visual and physical ways.
You’re right. Art schools might have a projects that involve making silverware and engineering schools might have a project that involves collaboration with engineers. The people at Art center might draw better than the people at Georgia Tech. Bottom line is you take a project brief and make that project into your own. I had 3 projects at school focusing on BMX biking because it’s what I wanted to do, not what my professors asked me to do.
Ultimately what you need to do is make a short list of schools you THINK you might like, based on where you want to live for 4 years, where you can afford, and then tell your parents that you want to visit those colleges. Take a road trip down to Blacksburg, walk around the town, walk around the studios, and talk to the current students and faculty about their projects. See the work FIRST HAND. Stop trying to make internet generalizations of what your perceptions are. You will accomplish nothing this way, I can assure you of that.