commuter campus vs. dedicated studios

Here are a couple topics for discussion particularly for those out there who have taught or are currently teaching industrial design:

  1. Do you see a difference in the quality and depth of student investigation and output between schools that have dedicated studio space on campus vs. programs where students aren’t allowed a dedicated space?

Some further background and observations: I have a BFA in ID from a university that allowed students a studio space to set up a place to work 24/7. I now teach at a commuter college that has a shop space but with limited hours and no place to set up a secure workspace outside of regular campus hours. Consequently some students choose to work at home, mostly with limited capabilities. Design decisions are affected by, among other factors, the hassle of carting projects back and forth from home, on the bus, etc. I also see time management on projects suffer because students come to the shop/studio workspace and carve on some foam, make a few bandsaw cuts for an hour or so and pack things up and leave.

  1. I also see more success from students who have had some previous background in a hands-on trade vs. students who have never picked up a hand file until the entered an ID program. Its been disussed elsewhere in these threads that what makes a successful industrial designer is a curiosity of how things work and taking them apart- reaching all the way back to grade school. The elimination of shop classes in middle and high schools is to blame for some of this. The primary challenge with the latter group: how to teach the neccesary skills to succeed as a designer in 10-12 weeks with no foundation of curiosity that reaches back to being 8 yrs. old or no muscle memory of how tools work. Matthew Crawford touched on this in his book Shop Class as Soulcraft.