I am planning to go to Columbia College in Chicago. Is there anyone who has gone to this school or knows about it that could give me some information on what it’s like? Thanks
Well, if nobody knows anything about Columbia than what schools in Chicago have a good industrial design program?
I actually considered doing ID in Chicago when my girlfriend moved here, but the only program I felt remotely comfortable with was the one at the main UI campus in Champaign, but that didn’t remotely qualify as Chicago. IIT no longer offered undergrad ID, so that was a sad tease for Chicago that would never be. Archeworks sounded interesting, but it’s more of a post graduate “extra.”
So, I just stayed in New York.
Maybe someone else can offer an answer, but I came on this board asking the same question a few years ago and there really wasn’t a satisfactory answer if you want some serious training in the city. Most of the ID people I’ve spoken to around here are from non-Chicago schools too, so that has reinforced my doubts about a solid choice locally.
There are a bunch of good ID schools in the Midwest, but if you need to stay in Chicago, I’m not sure. Browse through the list on Core77, and then search through these boards.
I just attended my sister’s graduation from Columbia (Marketing Comm.) in Chicago and it was by far the BEST graduation ceremony I’ve ever been to. The school presented Earth, Wind, and Fire with PHD’s in Music and then the music, dance, and R&B students honored them with one of their songs, half way through it these guys got up in their collegiate robes and joined it, it rocked.
They also had some great speakers and videos of student work, looks like a really inspiring school with lots of talent and creativity. I do not know much about their design departments, meaning I haven’t heard much about them, that may not be a good thing. The only way to find out is to pay a visit imo.
I know someone who is attending Columbia College for ID right now. He’s just gotten through his first year so far & has mixed feelings about it. He tells me the shop is unbelievable and his model making skills are progressing nicely, but is extremely disappointed in the lack of good drawing instruction.
And, this is just his opinion, but for what it’s worth he seems to think there’s a general malaise about the students in his classes. In general, not much passion, excitement, and friendly competition in the PD classes. Take that for what it’s worth…
UIC has an ID program that is supposed to be going through some positive changes. You’ll find UIC grads in a lot of the studios around the city.
School of the Art Institute of Chicago has a relatively new “designed objects” program that I don’t know much about. I’m told it leans more toward the conceptual/artistic end of design and may/may not prepare you for a “real world” gig.
If your scope can broaden outside of Chicago to the Midwest in general, I’d personally recommend CCS in Detroit, CIA in Cleveland, or Cincinnati over any school in Chicago. And I hate to have to say that.
The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design is better than any undergrad program in Chicago in my opinion. Go check it out–it’s only 90 minutes north.
Notre Dame and Purdue are the best-bets to the south.
I would agree with the comments made about Columbia.
UIC on the other hand is turning things around in a hurry. There are excellent instructors and the curriculum is very solid. I believe recently Scott Wilson is instructing there. UIC has a good mix of practicing professionals and staff instructors teaching classes.
Also there is an interdisciplinary course where you work with MBA students and mechanical engineers on a year long product development project with clients such as, Whirlpool, Motorola, and others.
As for the students having a general malaise, I think this is present at all universities. I do allot of giving back and there are students that want it and those that expect it to get handed to them. This was also the case when I was in school. You only get out of it what you put into it. I hope this was helpful.