Classes for high school students in the Chicago area?? Help!

I am really intersted in car design, and industrial design in general. I am 16 and am looking for some classes to take, but I can’t find any. I would really appreciate some help or some suggestions. Thanks a lot.

There’s not really any pre-university classes for design, especially transport design. My advice is to absorb info, network and start building a portfolio.

absorb info: subscribe to a journal like Innovation from IDSA. It will give you an idea about what’s happening in the industry, and a nice sampling of interesting products. For transportation design, read alot of car mags. Hang out at Barnes and Noble and flip through all the mags every month, including the European ones. Learn what the trends are, what works, what doesn’t. Check you local university libraries and see if someone has “Transportation Design” from Italy. It’s the only serious transport design mag out there.

Also, call up the Center for Creative Studies and Art Center. Ask them for a brochure, and their entrance requirements. If you really want to do transport, these are the places you need to go.

Network: I know there is a university in Chicago that has ID, there has to be. Call up a professor and go see what the students are doing. Maybe even shoot off an email to a local design consultant and ask if you can visit and talk to them about a career in design.

Build a portfolio: If you do want to go to one of the big schools, you will need a portfolio. Enroll in art classes in high schools (if they still exist). Do alot of drawing, even at home. Draw alot of people especially. If you can draw people well, you can draw anything.

Good luck, and if you have any questions, keep posting them here.

I’d say emerse yourself in the field. Develop a knowledge base, keep up on things. See what design themes people bring up here, check other forums, design firms websites, other pro designers portfolios, online tutorials, etc. Learn what the popular programs are so you’ll know what to look for when in college. And practice your product sketching. I’d have to disagree about the drawing people thing, that’s easier than products. I was always good at drawing people, but products in perspective, much harder/more discipline- definite lines required. People don’t have straight lines or long smooth arcs, you need to practice that. Check out, follow their links, etc. You’ll have a good headstart if you can practice this type of drawing early so that it’ll be second nature in college. Good luck, it’s great that you have interest this early. You should be able to get a lot of info on the net, ID is a much more popular field (easier to get info about) nowadays than back when I was in school. Start drawing, focus on speed and accuracy. From this early you’ll rule by the time you graduate college. Take care.