Areas schools are known for?

Does anyone have a list / can anyone make a list of ID schools and what their “focus” seems to be, in terms of projects and such.

For example (these aren’t accurate, I’m just making an example);

Virginia Tech - engineering school, projects are more practical and engineering based.

Cincy DAAP - A good balance, but more focused on art. Furniture design and housewares are more prominent, though.


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.

There is no such list, man. Take Cyber’s advice to heart… now. Get a list together, visit the schools, feel the vibe, and make a choice. 85% of ANY school is what you make of it. I know I guy who went to RIT for BFA and CCS for MFA, and he barely knows what is what about many things. Thats because he focused on the name of the school making him better, and not making himself better at school.

Like I’ve said to you before, jump in the water don’t just dip your toe in anymore.

You will get the EDUCATION you need at just about any IDSA recognized school with a program that has a decent amount of experience. I think some programs at some schools are still very young and need some pushing.

College is just as much about as where you want to spend 4 or 5 of the most important years of your life as it is the education.

My heart stays in Blacksburg. I grew up in the city…having 5 years to spend in the mountains with beautiful scenery, cheap prices (remember you’ll be piss broke throughout college and living in an urban area means more $$$), and great people worked out well for me.

Most schools offer a pretty balanced education. Obviously the “art schools” like RISD and Pratt give you more background on art history and technique, while the University programs might immerse you more into business and engineering. I’ve worked with fantastic designers from just about every school, and I’ve seen god awful portfolios from just about every school… the difference is the student.

There are some specialties of course in addition to the core courses in design:

Art Center
(Pratt, UC, and CIA also have trans programs, but the other 2 are the most consistent)

RISD (which has it’s own furniture major at this point)

I’m sure there are a few schools that dive deeper into UX as well.

Keifer, your questions are getting more to the point. Glad to see you getting closer to making your decision. Hope that this info is of some help. Good luck.

The advice above is great as well. First and foremost, start visiting schools. Don’t just talk to the admissions people and instructors, talk to students, ask to sit in on a class or 2, get the real feel for it. I was set to accept at Pratt until I visited RISD and just felt that it fit me better.